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Biometric Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

What is the difference between verification and identification?

The key difference between these two modes of authentication is whether the match/non-match decision is based on a one-to-one comparison or on an association based on a one-to-many search in a database.

Verification – The system verifies the claimed identity of the user by comparing his/her biometric sample with one specific reference template, which is either physically presented by the user or pointed to in the database. Verification can be knowledge-based (e.g. PIN or password) or token-based (e.g. smart card). The user says, "I am X!" and the system reply with "yes, your are X!" or "no, you are not X!"

Identification – The system identifies the end user from his/her biometric sample by associating it with his/her particular reference template based on a database search among the reference templates of the entire enrolled population. The user asks, "who am I?" and the system reply with "you are X!" or "your are not an authorized user".

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Can my fingerprint be stolen from the database?

No, only templates are stored in the iQBio system. When a finger is scanned, only a small subset of the characteristic points, or minutiae of the fingerprint image are extracted and turned into a template. Only a digital representation of the specific points is stored, not the image which is discarded after feature extraction. Since the template only holds information about a few points located on your fingerprint, and not the entire image, the original image cannot be restored by any means.

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Is it possible to cheat the system with a 3D finger replica?

See our information on Spoofing
See our MythBusted Page

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How many people can be enrolled to an authentication database?

Most iQBio systems allow for a minimum of 30 -100 users.  We have broken this down by category for further clarification -

  • Personal Products (iQBio Drive, iQBio Giga Clip, etc.) - 10 fingerprints max
  • Access Control Products (Door Locks, etc) - Minimum 30 prints
  • iQBio Fingerprint Safe Products - Minimum of 30 prints

Most of our iQBio Products list the available memory size for fingerprints within the description of the item itself.

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How long time does an identification of a fingerprint take?

The speed of identification is dependent on two factors; the speed/processing power of the logic performing the identification and the number of fingerprint templates in the database. Usually, the identification speed ranges between 1-2 seconds maximum.

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I have dry fingers, can I still use the system?

Most often a dry finger is not a problem, but if the finger is too dry, the image quality will not be sufficient for creating a high quality template. This may result in a so-called false reject, which means that you have to present the finger on the scanner one more time. If you experience a false reject and you think it is because of a dry finger, breathe on your finger or rub them together and try again.

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I have cut my finger, can I still use the system?

Due to the large scanning surface of our iQBio scanners, authentication is based on a high number of characteristic points. In addition to providing high reliability it also makes our system less sensitive to cuts and minor injuries of the finger. However, it is recommended to enroll minimum one finger from each hand in case the finger normally used for authentication is unavailable, e.g. due to a tragic snow-boarding accident, band-aid or cast.

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Does the system store an image of my fingerprint?

No, only a digital representation of a small subset of specific points on the fingerprint is stored, not the image, which is discarded after the feature extraction. Since the template only holds information about points located on your fingerprint, the original image cannot be restored by any means. The automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS) used by the Police store the entire fingerprint images while our (and competing) systems only store information about specific points.

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Can my template be used by the police?

No, the automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS) used by the Police store the entire fingerprint images while our (and competing) systems only store information about specific points.

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What are the advantages of identification?

The biggest advantages of identification based on a central database (and distributed databases) is that you do not need to remember a PIN code, which can be forgotten or compromised, or carry a smart card, which can be lost, stolen, or forgotten at home.  You are simply whom you claim to be by the identification of your fingerprint.  Some of our systems, such as the iGuard system have a verification method.  This is because these systems have capacity for larger numbers of users and thus would require substantial processing power to identify the user. 

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What happens if I cut my finger?

Usual cuts on the finger (except for major injuries) are tolerated by the system. If it's necessary to apply a bandage, use your secondary finger.

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