Accurate identification of individuals is a cornerstone of any modern society. Without identification, we cannot recognize the parties of different transactions and bind individuals to their rights and liabilities. Without identification, the transactions, rights, and liabilities become useless, and society can no longer work. Biometrical identification offers a technologically effective solution to the identification problems. These technologies are spreading fast in the whole information and communication technology field and pervading into many aspects of using computers and similar devices. Just like any other technology, biometric identification cannot develop without a sufficient regulative environment. This chapter provides an overview of the challenges and approaches, in addition to introducing biometric technologies. Finland has had connection with biometric identification and this chapter covers some aspects of the same.
The need to identify persons accurately has been a cornerstone for the world for centuries. Every human being, person, can be seen as a bunch of rights and liabilities. The person can use his/her rights and carry his/her liabilities as a private person, or on behalf of some third party, for example organization, through some kind of authorizing relationship from that third party. Rights are used and liabilities carried out in different transactions. Without identification, we cannot recognize the parties of different transactions and bind individuals to rights and liabilities. The transactions, rights and liabilities become useless, and the society can no longer work.
Modern virtual way or transacting through computer and telecommunication networks has made the challenge of identification more acute than ever.
Biometrical identification that has actually been the cornerstone of identification ever (people are known traditionally because of their race, age, size and face characteristics). Another popular method has been that of handwriting, where the connection between the person and the signature is always anyway vague. These kinds of identification have been very natural, but they cannot happen over the telecommunication network. Special devices and applications are needed for biometrical identification over the networks.
Authentication methods fall into three categories: what you know (usually password and/or PIN), what you have (smart card), and what you are (biometric) (Kroenke, 2007, p. 224).