biometric fingerprint myths

The use of biometric fingerprint and hand scanner technology with employee clocking systems is very often misunderstood.

Are the myths surrounding biometric images true or false.

by Ravi Das
Myth #1: Did the James Bond movies spawn the growth of Biometrics technology?
Writer’s note: Yes, I have been asked this question.

Debunking Myth #1: No, the James Bond movies did not start the growth of Biometrics. This science and technology has been around for a very long time, starting with the fingerprint and hand geometry recognition scanners dating all the way back to the 1960’s.

Myth #2: When my eye or finger gets scanned, is it the actual image of it which is stored and used to confirm my identity?

Debunking Myth #2: When you first register to any kind of Biometric system, yes the actual physiological image or behavioral trait is used to create the template. But typically, this raw image gets converted into a mathematical file, which is subsequently stored and used to confirm your identity. Actual images are never really stored in Biometric systems.

Myth #3: Can I get a disease from contact with a Biometric system?

Debunking Myth #3: Pretty much all Biometric systems require some sort of direct, physical contact with it. But there have been no known cases in which somebody has actually contracted a serious illness from direct contact with a Biometric scanner. There is a trend now occurring in which some Biometric systems do not require direct contact. The best known examples of this are Vein Pattern Recognition and Iris Recognition.

Myth #4: If my Biometric template gets stolen, will identity be stolen? Is it the same as credit card theft?

Debunking Myth #4: In an absolute sense, yes, it can be considered ID Theft. But think about it. A

Biometric template is just a mathematical file. If somebody were to steal it, what can they do with it? Each vendor has their own proprietary systems, so you cannot steal one template and expect to use it another, different Biometric system. And no, it is not the same as credit card theft. You have a much greater chance of somebody trying to “clone” your identity with your credit card number than your Biometric template.

Myth #5: Can you take out the eyeball from a dead body and use that at a scanner at a local ATM Machine?

Writer’s note: Seriously, I have been asked this question also.

Debunking Myth #5: No, this is not possible. Pretty much all Biometric systems require a live scan sample. Meaning, you have to be a living person, with a discernable heartbeat in order to be registered into a Biometric system.

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Patent office insider spills the beans

Patent office insider spills the beans on fraudulent time and attendance practises by workers:

He indicates that Supervisors don’t have a clue as to when employees are actually in attendance.

By Lisa Rein – September 12th 2014

With top Commerce Department officials headed to Capitol Hill Friday to answer allegations about fraudulent time & attendance practices by patent examiners, the Washington Post this week obtained copies of the whistleblower complaints that set in motion a series of investigations of the patent office.

Four whistleblowers, at least two of them managers, submitted lengthy, detailed accounts to an anonymous hotline set up by the Commerce inspector general’s office in 2012. The accounts described widespread time and attendance fraud by examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.​

The employees recounted how they tried and failed to stop what they called routine cheating on timesheets, bonuses to examiners who did not do the work they were rewarded for and a culture of management looking the other way that diminishes the work of honest employees.

“I come to work everyday and my office mate almost never comes to work,” one patent examiner wrote. “She brags to me that she does not have to work! She does not do any work for day and days, but pretends she is working and is lying. She even lies and gets paid extra overtime money…She tells me I should do this too, because it is so easy.”

The examiner alerted a supervisor about the time and attendance fraud, but “he says he cannot do anything as long as she meets her production,” the whistleblower wrote.

The Commerce Department, the patent office’s parent agency, was called to brief the staffs of the House Oversight and Government Reform and Judiciary committees Friday after the Post reported in August that some patent examiners repeated lied about their hours and received bonuses for work they didn’t do.

Those were some of the findings of an internal investigation conducted by six executives in the patent office after Inspector General Todd Zinser referred the whistleblowers’ complaints to the agency. Zinser asked the agency to conduct its own probe of the allegations, which focus on the autonomy granted to experts who review patent applications from home. More here..