Biometrics – IPS, the Flat Earth Society and transformational cosmology
|© David Moss 2009|
9 NIST had argued that a true accept rate of 99.5% could be achieved using only two fingerprints. Once US-VISIT had demonstrated that the figure was more like 81%, they teamed up with the US Department of Justice to lobby DHS and the State Department to use 10 fingerprints instead of two.
Would that help? Would that improve the reliability of verification?
It sounds as though it should but, as Tony Mansfield will tell you, increasing the number of fingers sampled will not lead to an exponential improvement in reliability. Your fingers are not independent events, there are correlations, and if the minutiae on your index fingers are poorly defined they are likely to be poorly defined on your other fingers, too.
Some researchers note that it is hardly worth printing ring fingers and little fingers.
NIST found that right index fingers are inexplicably "better" than left index fingers (para.3.1.1).
Moving from two prints to 10 may not help much after all.