IBM awarded fingerprint recognition patent

IBM received a patent in August for a new “anonymous and revocable” fingerprint recognition method.

The new method comprises the steps of: capturing a fingerprint and selecting a plurality of rotation and translation invariant fingerprint features; classifies each fingerprint feature into one of a plurality of discrete categories; computes a unique binary representation vector based on categorized fingerprint features that occur only once in the fingerprint; generates a revocable, non-invertible key-based transformed version of unique binary representation vector; and stores a key-based transformed version.

The abstract for U.S. patent number 8,249,314 notes that IBM has developed a system that provides: “[a] biometric representation of a fingerprint from which the original biometric cannot be recovered (privacy) and which can be canceled and reissued. For example, based on an individual’s token, the representation can be scrambled uniquely to the individual. From the scrambled biometric representation it is not feasible to reconstruct the biometric and if the representation is compromised, a new one is easily issued. In another aspect, if a biometric can be represented by some other one-dimensional structure, a distance or similarity measure is defined to compare biometrics. Verification decisions can be made based on the distance between or similarity of biometrics.”

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