Chapter 15Biometrics in Forensics 1



15.1. Introduction

If there is a goal that forensics must pursue, it is without any doubt the identification of the perpetrator of a crime or offense. As such, biometrics, which signifies “measuring the living”, plays a major role in the clarification of criminal affairs. It is for this reason that for the last few decades, as science progressed, DNA has been attributed an increasingly important place in forensics. It is the element that, if found at the scene of the crime and were it to belong to the perpetrator, can single-handedly lead to a decisive breakthrough in a criminal investigation.

DNA is obviously not the only biometric element that can be used by investigators. Before it, fingerprints (“digital imprints”) were already common, and, exploited long before by experts at the crime scene.

Today, new techniques are developed and used, giving investigators new tools enabling them to exploit new biometric elements for forensic purposes.

Thus, comparisons of face and voice are the tasks carried out by experts in aid of investigators and investigating magistrates. Indeed, is there anything more natural for the person responsible for a criminal investigation than to want to compare the face of the perpetrator of a crime or offense, caught on CCTV camera, with the face of a suspected individual as part of the investigation; moreover, to want to compare the voice of a person calling out for a terrorist act with the voice of a suspect?

If ...

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