Skip to main content

Biometrics - an unique identification method

Face or finger, palm or vein, no matter the method, the rise of biometrics as the preferred method of access and identification, is definitive.   Simply put, it is the use of unique biological features to confirm identity.

In many environments, both commercial and private, it is critical to know who is on the premises, and when they arrived and left.   Clocking in and out used to be mainly a "blue collar" requirement, tracking hourly paid workers and easing payroll pressure.   Increasingly, biometric devices are being used in office environments, as well as housing estates, gyms and apartment buildings.  Traditional cards are easily mislaid, but its a bit more challenging to lose your finger or face!

However, there is still a significant usage of cards, pin codes and other physical devices, and it is a fact that almost 3% of the population do not have consistently readable fingerprints.

In the South African people management space (Human Capital Management/Workforce Management), it is important to have proof of attendance for a number of reasons, both statutory and practical.

While the most widely used method is fingerprint, face recognition is growing, and is seen as a real advantage in more hygiene conscious environments, such as food preparation areas and hospitals.

Buddy clocking has always been a problem with traditional card and tag usage, and the combination of biometric devices and barrier systems go a long way to preventing people clocking in for each other.   One of my favourite card stories was the one about two brothers, who looked a lot alike, sharing a job for over two years, before their different work ethics finally gave them away.

Interestingly, it is generally believed that because our fingerprints are unique, they are a foolproof method of identification.  But it is not that simple.   First, with computerised identification systems, the fingerprint is stored as an algorithm, and the quality of the original fingerprint captured can be a factor.   False accepts (FAR) and False reject rates (FRR) are a possibility, and the careful implementation and ongoing checking of systems is important.

With the increase in computerised systems managing people, it is becoming key to ensure that infrastructure and systems are regularly monitored.  The Protection of Personal Information Bill (PoPI) is also going to add a layer of sensitivity as to who is able to access data.

Biometrics at Accsys


Popular posts from this blog

Resignation - keep building relationships

Resignation – avoid burning those bridges It has been a great pleasure working with a colleague like you. Now, you are off to your next big challenge! Good luck and farewell!
Isn’t that what we all want to hear when we leave?  We were appreciated and we will be missed.
The need for all parties to maintain professional conduct in the event of resignation is critical, particularly now when we are working within an unsettled socio-economic climate. Employees should avoid damaging relationships, and employers need to adopt a neutral approach and ensure that there are policies and processes that enable the separation to be objectively handled.  For example: ·A formal resignation letter is required·A formal acceptance of resignation is issued confirming any special conditions·An exit interview takes place·Handovers are planned and executed
Our HR team advise those who resign their position to adhere to a few golden rules. Failure to do so could harm whatever bonds have been formed at the workpla…

Favourite Words

Shambolic – it simply sounds better to me than chaotic.. Do lots of people have favourite words or just a few of us nerds? As everybody is starting to think holidays (or maybe you prefer to vacation), it seemed a good time for a different type of blog. Have you noticed how many words with pleasant associations sound more attractive than those that describe the negative. Watching a TV quiz show the other night made me wonder. The contestant hated bulbous and gusset! There have always been some words that appeal to me, triskaidekaphobia being one. I now know that I had the meaning wrong! I thought it meant fear of Friday the 13th, but it is simply a fear of the number 13, so how does paraskevidekatriaphobia grab you? That is the real word for fear of Friday the 13th. Love it! Now I prefer rural to bucolic, but Robert Beard (see below) selected the latter as one of his favourites. Effervescent is a gorgeous word, so descriptive and onomatopoeic while ethereal makes me think of gossamer and fairie…

What I learned from the snake queue...

The lesson of the snake queue
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it or Leave well enough alone.  But do we?  Oh no, we are always trying to improve on things, no matter how well they work.
Progress does come from constant improvement, but it needs to be an improvement!
Hence the lesson of the snake queue… I know that life isn’t always fair, I also don’t believe that everything happens for a reason (see below). However, the advent of the snake queue made me feel so happy.  I knew that, once I was in it, I would get served next.  I didn’t have to decide which shopping trolleys in front of me had more items, and pick a line accordingly, I simply joined at the rear and waited my turn. Those stores who have duplicate snakes facing each other do add a small element of stress in terms of which one to select, but I cope quite well with this one if I have my Kindle…. The same at airports, pharmacies and banks, such a fair system. Then, a colleague and I went to the USA and arrived at Washington Airport with…