Biometrics (ancient Greek: bios life, metron measure) refers to two very different fields of study and application. The first, which is the older and is used in biological studies, including forestry, is the collection, synthesis, analysis and management of quantitative data on biological communities such as forests. Biometrics in reference to biological sciences has been studied and applied for several generations and is somewhat simply viewed as "biological statistics."
Biometric-based solutions are able to provide for confidential financial transactions and personal data privacy. The need for biometrics can be found in federal, state and local governments, in the military, and in commercial applications. Enterprise-wide network security infrastructures, government IDs, secure electronic banking, investing and other financial transactions, retail sales, law enforcement, and health and social services are already benefiting from these technologies.
Biometric-based authentication applications include workstation, network, and domain access, single sign-on, application logon, data protection, remote access to resources, transaction security and Web security. Trust in these electronic transactions is essential to the healthy growth of the global economy. Utilized alone or integrated with other technologies such as smart cards, encryption keys and digital signatures, biometrics are set to pervade nearly all aspects of the economy and our daily lives. Utilizing biometrics for personal authentication is becoming convenient and considerably more accurate than current methods (such as the utilization of passwords or PINs). This is because biometrics links the event to a particular individual (a password or token may be used by someone other than the authorized user), is convenient (nothing to carry or remember), accurate (it provides for positive authentication), can provide an audit trail and is becoming socially acceptable and cost effective. More information about biometrics, standards activities, government and industry organizations and research initiatives on biometrics can be found through out this website.