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Iris scan


An iris scan is one of the most currently used methods of
biometric authetication: Using a small camera, an iris scan system examines both irides of the individual's eyes. It then takes advantage of small details in the iris stromal pattern in order to attempt positive identification of an individual. Anthropologists have long established up to a few hundred items in the inherited feature space of the iris stroma and epithelia. The irides of identical twins are measurably different; There are differences between the left and the right eyes of an individual and differences in images of the same iris at different moments in time.

Advantages of iris scanning

An iris scan can be performed from several inches to several feet away, so there is no need to undergo invasive biometric procedures. In addition, the iris of the eye contains much more information than a fingerprint. While iris scans are said to be more accurate than most genetic fingerprinting, the golden standard of dermatoglyphic fingerprinting, established in the early 1820s by the Bohemian physiologist Johann (Jan) Evangelista Purkinje has yet to be matched. All false positive, false negative, and overall accuracy values are still being improved.

Disadvantages of iris scanning

Studies show that irides are not immutable. Also, changes in the health of an individual can affect their irides. Moreover, a number of workarounds, many of great availability, simplicity and reproducibility have demonstrated that iris scanning is far from being foolproof.

Concerns over human rights

Human rights activists voiced concerns that iris scans further the ability of a government to track its citizens beyond their will and even the most current acceptability standards. Activists suggest that the money invested for iris scan research would be better used toward research that improves health and welfare.

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