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What is Biometric Encryption (BE)?

The Biometric Encryption is a process that binds a PIN or a cryptographic key securely to a biometric so that neither the biometric nor the key can be fetched from the stored template. The key is re-created only if a correct live biometric sample is presented on verification.

Working process of Biometric Encryption

The working of Biometric Encryption is an effective, secure, and privacy-friendly tool especially for biometric password management because the password and the biometric are bound on a fundamental level. The steps of BE working is briefly explained below:

1. Digital Enrolment

The digital key unlike a password, PIN, etc is randomly generated on enrolment, so that nobody including the user, knows it. The key itself is entirely independent of biometrics and, therefore can always be altered or updated. After a biometric sample is attained, the BE algorithm consistently and securely binds the key to the biometric to generate a protected BE template, which is also known as a "private template". The key is encrypted with the biometric. The BE template provides excellent privacy protection and can be stored in a database or locally on a smart card, token, laptop, cell phone, or other devices. At the termination of the enrolment process, both the biometric and the key are discarded.

2. Biometric Verification

For the verification process, the user offers a new biometric sample, which is when applied to the legitimate Biometric Encryption template, will let the BE algorithm retrieve the same key or password. So the biometric serves as a decryption key. At the end of the verification, the given sample is discarded once again.

3. Password Management

When the digital key, password, PIN, etc., is retrieved, then it is used as the basis for any physical or logical application. The most apparent way lies in the conventional cryptosystem, such as a PKI, where the password will automatically generate a pair of public and private keys.

4. Encryption/Decryption Scheme

The Biometric Encryption algorithm is designed to account for suitable variations in the input biometric. Nevertheless, an attacker whose biometric sample is different enough will not be able to retrieve the password. This encryption or decryption scheme is uncertain, as the biometric sample is different each time. With the invention of so many modern hacking methods, it is a big challenge to make the system work correctly.

Advantages of Biometric Encryption

Biometric Encryption technologies have massive potential to lift privacy and security. The crucial benefits and advantages of this technology are given below:

  • No holding of biometric image or template

In any biometric system, privacy and security concerns include fears of security breaching, potential data matching, surveillance, profiling, interception, and identity theft by hackers. Mismanagement and misuse of biometric data by others can invoke negative externalities and costs that fall primarily upon individuals.

Biometric Encryption directly manages these risks and threats. The users retain the complete (local) control and use of their biometrics. Local authority enhances confidence and trust in the system, which ultimately promotes greater enrolment and use.

  • Improved authentication and security

In Biometric Encryption, the Account identifiers are bound with the biometric and are recomputed directly from the user's verification. These results in much powerful account identifiers (passwords) that are more extended and more complex and are not needed to be memorized. And also are less susceptible to security attacks. Here there are no substitution attack, No tampering of data, no Trojan horse attacks, etc., as an attacker cannot create his template since neither he nor anybody else, know the digital key.

Also, the possibilities of high-level masquerade attack are minimal as the system does not store any template so that the intruder cannot create a digital artifact.

  • Personal data and Communications are more Secure

The users can take advantage of the convenience and ease of BE technologies to encrypt their private or sensitive data. Since the key is one's own biometric which is used locally thus, enabling the BE technology to securely place a powerful tool directly in the hands of individuals. Hence, Biometric Encryption could be viewed as encryption for the masses.

  • Greater public acceptance, confidence, and use greater compliance with privacy laws

Public faith and trust are mainly necessary for the success of any biometric system deployment. One major data breach involving a massive centralized database of biometric templates could set back the entire industry for years. The biometric data are kept firmly under the exclusive control of the user, in a way that benefits the users and minimizes the risk of surveillance and identity theft. It will go a long way towards satisfying the requirements of privacy and data protection laws and will promote the broader acceptance and use of biometrics.

  • Suitable for large-scale applications

The application of BE is a privacy-protected one-to-many database for preventing "double dipping." The database is multimodal: it contains standard but anonymous templates for one biometric (e.g., fingerprints) and own templates (e.g., for iris) that control the link with the user's encrypted records. A user's history would only be decrypted and displayed if there was a decisive match on both standard and private templates. BE technologies make possible database applications, minimizing the risks of traditional biometric systems. With Biometric Encryption, the consumers would be empowered with the ability to securely prove their identity to anyone, for any purpose, using their biometrics, without even disclosing the biometric data itself.


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