Proposed eye-based biometrics hard to hack

August 29, 2012 - 

A research team at the University of Tampere in Finland has proposed creating a biometric-based security system based on eye movement.

Through video surveillance, Martti Juhola and his team of colleagues proposed a system that would monitor “saccades”, the unique and rapid involuntary eye movements that all people make.

Saccades are quick, simultaneous movements of both eyes in the same direction.  Once saccades are underway, they cannot be altered by will. A saccade is also an involuntary consequence of turning the head to one side or a sudden motion detected in one’s visual periphery.

“Saccades are probably the simplest eye movements to detect with signal analysis,” the team says. According to the team, they are the fastest eye movements and very easy to trigger by asking an individual to look at one target, and then another, on a computer screen.

Because of the unique nature of eye movements, the research team notes that it would be much more difficult to hack or “spoof” an individual’s pattern of saccades than to emulate their iris with contact lenses or their fingerprints with patterned silicone pads, or by way other forged images or prosthetics.

The research team reports that preliminary tests indicate that a biometric identity verification could be undertaken in as little as 30 seconds with 30 to 40 saccades being recorded, providing an accuracy rate of 90 to 100 percent.

Their research was published in the latest edition of the International Journal of Biometrics.

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About Mona Green

Mona Green writes full time for She is also a licensed Medical Laboratory Scientist and is currently involved in several civic society organizations. Mona is completing her Master's Degree in Public Administration."