Biometrics and AI vs. Iris Recognition_ Shaping the Future of Digital Identity Security

Biometrics and AI vs. Iris Recognition: Shaping the Future of Digital Identity Security

January 30, 2024

Since 2018 to the present, bot-generated traffic has skyrocketed to nearly half of all online interactions (47%). From these figures, we can draw several conclusions: technology is rapidly advancing to mimic human behavior on the internet, and traditional systems verifying the humanity of those on the other side of the screen are now obsolete.

Artificial intelligence, despite being in its early stages of development, has proven capable of solving Captcha puzzles, impersonating individuals, and mimicking their modus operandi on the internet. This opens a worrisome range of issues when it comes to safeguarding the security and privacy of our data. In most cases, the intentions of these bots are far from beneficial for human interests.

In this context, new systems that validate the humanity of individuals online are more necessary than ever. Didit, with its AI-supported biometric technology, proves to be a very considerable option. Even more so than those that verify humanity solely through iris recognition.

Validation and Identification Systems Are Obsolete

But let's delve deeper into the current problem: human validation and identification systems are obsolete. If you don't believe us, take a moment to think about how many online services you have profiles on, each with different usernames and passwords for added security. This forces us to remember countless combinations, also demonstrating the inefficiency of Web2 methods. If you are one person, why not have a single account to prove who you are?

However, these methods also fail to detect bots. While some work to make our lives better (like those assisting in a conversation before sending us to customer service), others impersonate people. In fact, they are commonly found on many contact pages, as James Millership, president of Ashley Madison, acknowledged in an interview. "It's a common practice," he excused himself.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg in this internet without an identity layer, and that's why weighty solutions are necessary.

Biometrics (and Artificial Intelligence) as a Response

Biometrics can be defined as a set of physical characteristics that allow for the identification of an individual. We're talking about fingerprints, iris recognition, or facial recognition, for example. Its fusion with artificial intelligence represents a technological evolution, as well as an improvement in how we approach security and privacy in this virtually digital world: they are the seed for solutions to this lack of identity on the internet.

Biometrics has significantly evolved from simple identification based on physical traits. With the integration of artificial intelligence, we can now analyze and process biometric data in more sophisticated and precise ways. This evolution not only improves efficiency and accuracy in identification but also allows for more adaptable and secure systems. AI facilitates the detection of patterns and anomalies, crucial in a world where impersonation and fraud attempts are becoming increasingly complex. We're talking, for example, about deepfakes, which cause so much harm to those who suffer from them.

Why is Iris Recognition Limited?

The validation of humanity through iris recognition has been fashionable for some months now. While it's true that it's practically impossible for two irises to be identical (even in twins they differ) and allows for the encapsulation of a human's personality under a single spectrum, it's a technology difficult to scale and that presents some gaps.

For one, this technology is based on orbs, requiring a special device to function. While it's an experience in itself, this need to overcome the personality test through a physical technology demonstrates its lack of scalability.

Moreover, it's a technology easily hackable. There are aesthetic modifications, like colored contact lenses, that allow for simple changes to a person's iris. Thus, the principle of personality would be in question.

Another issue to consider, although not closely linked to the above, is the privacy of the collected data and the risk to which people are exposed by giving up their iris, which also must be taken into account.

The Evolution of Biometrics: From Fingerprints to Facial Recognition

Biometrics has come a long way since its early days, transforming our interaction with technology and redefining personal security. This journey begins with a focus on fingerprints, one of the oldest and most reliable forms of biometric identification, historically used in law enforcement. But how did we move from ink and paper to scanners integrated into our everyday devices?

 

  • The pioneer of modern biometrics: Apple and Touch ID: In 2013, Apple introduced a paradigm shift with the iPhone 5S by implementing the Touch ID system. This advancement not only offered a new form of security but also marked the beginning of biometrics in mass consumption. The ability to unlock a phone or authorize payments with a simple touch revolutionized how we interact with our devices, laying the groundwork for the widespread adoption of biometrics across multiple sectors, from banking to automotive.
  • The era of 'voice recognition': As biometrics expanded beyond fingerprints, voice recognition began to find its place in the digital world. Tech giants like Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon transformed user interaction with devices and services through voice assistants like Siri and Alexa. These developments made daily tasks more accessible and convenient, showcasing the versatility of biometrics.
  • Facial recognition: Facial recognition received a significant boost in 2017 with the launch of Apple's iPhone X. This device not only used facial biometrics for security but also integrated an advanced scanning system, Face ID, using cutting-edge technology to map the user's face. This advancement marked the beginning of a new era in biometrics, where security and convenience merged unprecedentedly.
  • Vascular biometrics, new horizons: Biometrics continues to evolve, with developments like vascular recognition gaining ground. This technology, analyzing unique patterns in blood vessels, offers an even higher level of precision and security. From innovative payment systems in China to ongoing research for integrating vascular biometrics into mobile devices, we are witnessing the birth of a new frontier in biometric identification.

These are some examples illustrating how biometrics has evolved from the early uses of fingerprints to more sophisticated technologies like facial and vascular recognition, transforming the way we interact with devices and enhancing personal security and user comfort.

For a deeper dive into the development of these technologies, check out this post from Telefónica.

Artificial Intelligence in Biometrics: Enhancing Precision and Security

The integration of artificial intelligence into biometrics has resulted in a significant change in the precision and security of identification systems. This fusion has propelled biometrics into a new era of adaptability and efficiency. The progress is well-documented, demonstrating how these systems can learn and adapt to new variations, maintaining high precision under changing conditions, as seen with Didit.

A significant achievement in biometrics with AI is its ability to combat fraud. Advanced systems can now effectively differentiate between attempts at falsification or identity theft, overcoming challenges that were blind spots in traditional biometrics. This advance is crucial in a world where fraud tactics are increasingly sophisticated.

Take the First Step to Protect Your Digital Identity with Didit

Didit's goal is to humanize the internet. To this end, we provide everyone with the necessary tools to empower themselves, to take care of their data and privacy, and to prove their humanity both online and offline through a decentralized digital identity, redefining all interactions on the internet.

If you want to take the first step towards decentralization and protect your digital identity, click the button below to create your own Didit. You'll be closer to controlling your data!

 

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