“Vendor lock-in” is a term that describes when a technology vendor imposes switching costs upon their customer—intentionally or otherwise—to make it unattractive for them to replace their installed products. It’s done by designing and deploying a system in such a way that makes it exceedingly difficult, risky, or expensive to replace part or all of the system. The effect is that the vendor can earn a virtual monopoly within that account on future product and service revenue. The phenomenon is universal, but vendor lock-in has occurred in the biometrics realm, typically involving deployment of an AFIS/ABIS (automated fingerprint/biometric identification [...]
A brief history of biometrics Fingerprint-based identification began in law enforcement. An Argentine detective first solved a crime using a latent print (left behind by the perpetrator) in 1892. In 1901, detectives in England and Wales officially began using fingerprints in criminal identification. Their use snowballed from there. By 1946, the FBI managed a library of 100 million fingerprints, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. The agency developed the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) in the 1970s to manage the massive and still-growing collection more effectively. AFIS became “Integrated AFIS” (IAFIS) in 1999 to help law enforcement agencies share [...]
Governments worldwide rely on passports and the relatively limited biographic information they contain for identification of citizens in a variety of critical applications, such as immigration and border management. But they are increasingly using biometrics to augment their identity proofing efforts. Biometrics such as a fingerprint, face, and iris are more unique, consistent, and fraud-resistant than simple biographics like name and date of birth, making them useful as a conclusive identifier. This is not surprising, considering that the most critical data on passports is arguably the facial image; without it, a passport is useless. Download PDF here if [...]
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