History of biometrics
As we already know, nowadays we are talking about biometrics when we are actually referring to biometric technology, associating it with the concept of security and personal and unequivocal identification.
Our reality is full of biometric sensors, each mobile device already has, in most cases, its own fingerprint sensor, 55% only in 2017 and growing up and it is unusual the gym that is not starting to discard the membership cards to access their facilities and exchanging them for the comfortable, and safety, fingerprint of its users.
The truth is that although we consider it something totally modern, the origins and use of biometrics can be traced back to ancient Egypt when anthropometry (the study of the proportions and measurements of the human body) was used to identify people. As early as the 14th century in China, traders, to distinguish between children and adults, stamped the palm prints on ink paper.
It was not until the 19th century that Alphonse Bertillon, head of the Parisian photographic police department, developed a system to identify criminals that worked by precisely measuring the width and length of certain parts of the body and head, thereby implanting biometrics in the Western world, and turning it into a field of study.
In 1880, fingerprints began to be used as a recognized biometric identifier. It happened thanks to Henry Faulds, a British doctor who examining his own prints and those of his friends highlighted two great advantages: the traces of each person are unique and unrepeatable, and do not change throughout life.
With this information, the anthropologist Francis Galton, after carrying out a more exhaustive study with more than 8000 sets of fingerprints published in 1982 his work “Fingerprints” from which the old method for identification based on anthropometry was left aside, and it was passed to the fingerprint identification, method that continues being used by the police of the whole world nowadays.
Today anthropometry, dactyloscopy and other sciences that study the characteristics of an individual’s body to identify it, have given rise to the most innovative biometric technology where we find: fingerprint sensors, facial recognition, iris recognition, retina or cornea , or geometry of the hand among others.