Articles on Biometrics

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An artist’s depiction of the ‘shibboleth incident.’ Detail from art by H. de Blois, from The Bible and Its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons, vol. 3, edited by Charles F. Horne and Julius A. Bewer, 1908

The long history, and short future, of the password

Going as far back as the Bible, and as widely known as the phrase 'Open, Sesame,' passwords are a textual link to our past. But they may not be around much longer.
Mapping a face is the starting point. Anton Watman/shutterstock.com

Facial recognition is increasingly common, but how does it work?

Computers are getting better at identifying people's faces, and while that can be helpful as well as worrisome. To properly understand the legal and privacy ramifications, we need to know how facial recognition technology works.
Hold it right there. Michael Dalder/Reuters

What makes a ‘smart gun’ smart?

President Obama's call for better electronic gun-safety systems put a spotlight on the technologies currently in the R&D pipeline that aim to make sure only authorized users can fire a gun.

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