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A Thing Biometrics: Coming to a Browser Near You!


Biometrics: Coming to a Browser Near You!

A t press time, too late for inclusion in the May issue of GSQ focusing on biometric technology, comes the announcement from Microsoft Corporation that the company will be including biometric scanning devices in future versions of its Windows® operating systems.

Microsoft and I/O Software, Inc., of Riverside, CA announced their partnership on May 2. Their intent is to foster widespread growth of biometrics through the integration of biometric authentication technology in future versions of Windows. Microsoft has acquired I/O Software’s Biometric API (BAPI) technology to provide users with a higher level of network security based on the secure and reliable personal identification method.

The integration of biometric authentication will enable users to log on to computers and conduct secure e-commerce transactions using a combination of fingerprint, iris pattern, or voice recognition, and a strong private key instead of a password.

As you may have read in GSQ, biometrics is the science of verifying a person’s identity by comparing physical characteristics of his or her body with stored data such as a fingerprint or iris pattern. Biometric authentication devices include fingerprint scanners, iris scanners, and voice verification systems. The emerging technology is considered the likely successor to not-so-secure passwords and PIN numbers as they relate to security.

“We are fully committed to supporting biometrics in Windows to provide our customers with a security platform for the next generation of computing,” said Tod Nielson, vice-president of the Platform Group at Microsoft. “Biometrics will provide an alternative to passwords in Windows to provide our customers with increased ease of use, a higher level of network security, and lower overall management costs.”

The partnership of Microsoft and I/O Software is expected to be widely felt throughout many industries.

“This announcement represents a major move forward for the widespread adoption and utilization of biometrics at the desktop, enterprise, and general business levels,” said Adam Backenroth, president of the FSTC (Financial Services Technology Consortium) and a vice president at Chase Manhatten Bank. “The Financial Services Industry, along with other industries and government agencies, should benefit from this initiative.”

For more information about Microsoft (just in case you have been living in a cave), visit their Web site at Information about I/O Software Inc., can be found at or by phoning (909) 222-7600.

If you missed the May GSQ, and would like to receive a copy of our in-depth biometrics edition, please call (800) 757-4441 to request a copy.

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