Preface

 

 

 

Literally, the word “biometrics” is composed of the prefix “bio”, meaning “life” in Greek, and the suffix “metrics”, meaning “measure”. Indeed, its main aim is to perform measurements on human beings. The term also refers to a discipline describing statistical and mathematical methods employed to process data related to life sciences. Even though several scientific communities “share” the word “biometrics” to deal with some specific fields such as medicine and ecology, this book is dedicated basically for security purposes. Actually, we believe that it is within this context that biometrics is best known, including the non-scientific community. This biometrics considers, in particular, the problem of identification and authentication of individuals using their characteristics. In fact, this issue goes back to the 19th Century, especially through the practice of anthropometry, but it has probably existed, under other forms, long before that time. The history of biometrics is exciting but its evolution is even more exciting. Over generations, human attitudes have changed and continued to mutate to the point where the degree of acceptability and subtlety is constantly evolving depending on the needs, constraints, and events that the world is aware of. Biometrics has changed a lot, and this term is becoming more and more common in our everyday language: the biometric passport, the biometric ID card, the biometric lock, etc. In the coming years, we expect that huge applications ...

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