RFID and Biometrics for Increased Security

If you’ve read my previous posts on RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), you’re familiar with what it is, how it works and the benefits it provides.  Recently, many organizations are finding additional benefits when they combine RFID with biometrics.  Biometrics uses a range of techniques to answer the question “are you who you claim to be?”  In fact, many government agencies and businesses are increasingly using biometrics technology to prevent fraud and increase security.  One of the most common forms of biometrics is fingerprinting, which allows users to both verify identities and deter crime.  When combined with RFID, biometrics is providing security for RFID applications as well as authorized access to specific individuals.

Many companies are beginning to incorporate RFID smart cards with biometrics.  The biometrics component allows certain individuals to gain secured access, while the RFID smart card acts as a redundancy check.   If an individual fails the biometrics test, such as a fingerprint scan, information on the RFID tag cannot be accessed.  Using RFID chips to store biometric data is also believed to provide a high level of privacy.  Instead of data being stored in a database, the biometric information remains with the individual, only accessible by a match.  Because the combination of these two technologies is fairly new it will be interesting to see what happens in the future.  For more information about biometrics you can read the Motorola white paper Introduction to Biometrics.