Fingerprints in Access Control – How It Works

Access Control Philippines

By Myris T. Patosa

 

Fingerprints has long been used in identification and access control. But only a few know and understand how it works and a lot of people question its reliability. Fingerprints are impressions left by the friction ridges of a human finger which is unique only to that person. Its uniqueness is the key factor on why it is the most commonly used biometric in access control and identity verification.

In access control, a fingerprint scanner is used in order to identify if the given individual is allowed to gain access in a certain area. Fingerprint processing has three phases: enrollment, searching and verification.

Enrollment is the process of storing a fingerprint for future accessing. But take note that fingerprint templates cannot be reversed engineered in order to replicate and access personal information, and it cannot be stolen. Its image cannot be saved, instead, only specific and unique characteristics of the print is saved as an encrypted mathematical interpretation in the form of a binary code. The code is then saved for the time when a person wishes to enter and the scanner searches for a match of the fingerprint for the verification process.

Since the print is converted then saved as a mathematical equation, the algorithm cannot be reconverted and duplicated into an image, thus, no one can duplicate another’s print. This characteristic is another advantage of a fingerprint. Due to these features, fingerprints are much harder to fake, and it cannot be guessed, misplaced or forgotten. It only stays with you, and it would always be yours.

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