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18-10-2010, 09:33 AM
The identity solutions symposium held in Jonesboro,Arkanasas 21to22February
2007 brought together academic industry and government experts working on radio frequency identification (RFID)biometrics sensors animal identification identity cards RFID enabled passports identity theft terrorism retail and healthcare supply chains demographics privacy security middle ware and legislation
One observation was universal in the presentations identity matters(see the sidebar on 84 for full list of presentations including those described in this article) identity related technologies can considerably optimize supply chains while reducing threats from terrorism and natural disasters from terrorism and natural disasters But we must solve social political ethical and technical along the way
Definition on identity management
Identity management (ID management) is a broad administrative area that deals with identifying individuals in a system (such as a country, a network, or an enterprise) and controlling their access to resources within that system by associating user rights and restrictions with the established identity. The driver licensing system is a simple example of identity management: drivers are identified by their license numbers and user specifications (such as "can not drive after dark") are linked to the identifying number.
In an IT network, identity management software is used to automate administrative tasks, such as resetting user passwords. Enabling users to reset their own passwords can save significant money and resources, since a large percentage of help desk calls are password-related. Password synchronization (p-synch) enables a user to access resources across systems with a single password; a more advanced version called single signon enables synchronization across applications as well as systems.
what is identity
Identity \refers to the ways in which individuals and collectivities are distinguished In their social relations with other individuals and collectivities"
Identity is \people's concepts of who they are, of what sort of people they are, and how they relate to others.
Though RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) has been around since World War II, it has been too expensive and limited to be feasible for large-scale commercial acceptance .If it can be made available cheaply, it can solve many problems associated with supply-chain management, warehousing, and logistics and manufacturing assembly lines.
Rail companies use RFID to identify and monitor railcars as a train passes a ‘reading point’. This not only helps to avoid accidents but also provides sorting capabilities in the train yard.
RFID is also commonly used for automobile security. Transponders are embedded into the car’s key and a reader in the vehicle’s ignition system transmits a signal to the transponder that answers with a unique code allowing the vehicle to start. More than 16 million vehicles around the world have this feature today.
Another application of RFID is to identify livestock. For example, ear tags with transponders encased in a tough plastic allow farmers to identify and track their farm animals quickly and easily .It can also be used for labeling household pets, in which case an RFID tag is embedded under the animal’s skin.
RFID is also attracting attention as a technology complementing or even replacing barcode because of the significant range, speed and extra memory advantages it provides.
But, what exactly is RFID? RFID is a term for technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify individual items. An RFID system can be divide into two components: a tag and a reader .The tag consists of a microchip with an antenna coiled around it. The microchip is used to store unique to identity and perhaps some other information about the product itself. The antenna enables the chip to transmit the identification information to a reader. The reader converts the radio waves return from the RFID tag into a form that can then be passed on to computers that can make use of it.
RFID are of two types: active and passive. An active tag has a power source of its own, which may be a small battery inside the tag itself. A passive tag, on the other hand, derives its power from a magnetic field generated when the electromagnetic waves sent out by the reader’s antenna combine with the antenna on the RFID tag. Once the tag is active, it modulates the waves that the tag sends back to the reader and the reader converts the new waves into digital data.
The reading range of active RFID tags is much more than the passive ones. An active tag can be read from 100 feet or more, whereas a passive tag cannot be read from a distance of more for using passive tags on inexpensive items is that they cost much less as compared to the active tags.
Just as your radio tunes in to different frequencies to hear different channels, RFID tags and readers have to be tuned to the same frequency to communicate. RFID systems use many different frequencies, but generally the most common are low (around 125 KHZ), high(13.56 MHZ)and ultra-high frequency or UHF(850-900 MHZ).Microwave(2.45 GHZ)is also used in some applications. Radio waves behave differently at different frequencies, so one has to choose the right frequency for the right application.
WHERE IS IT USED?
Some widespread and commonly known uses of RFID are identification, tracking and real-time monitoring. RFID can help in providing real-time feeds on location and status of goods. The ability to identify and track assets is critical, whether you are a retail store, wholesale distributor, manufacturer or a hospital.
An RFID tag attached to any object contains a unique serial number that is used to identify the object. This application can be used in supply-chain management or logistics where each item can be identified as and when it enters or leaves the warehouse.
RFID can also be used to track the exact location of people or equipment and record events associated with their location. This can be made possible by planting an RFID reader en-route the path that the object will take. So, the reader recognizes the tag and creates a log in the backend about the movement of the objects. International secure shipments make it mandatory to have the ability to track the source of origin of an individual product if there are problems with it. Real-time monitoring, with the help of RFID tags, can be employed for having a point in time status of what is happening in the organization.
Delhi-based AVAANA has solutions that enable an organization to monitor the movement of its employees and assets in real time. All the assets, fitted with RFID tags, can be monitored whenever they are moved in or out of the building.
Even Infineon Indent Solutions provides services ranging from supply, installation and integration to maintenance for deployment of RFID infrastructure. A good example of real time monitoring and tracking using RFID is the US Department of Defense (DOD) during operation Iraqi Freedom. The one big challenge for the army
BARCODE VS RFID:
Conversational barcodes can hold only a small amount of information and can’t be reprogrammed. Also, barcodes use line-of-sight technology. This means that the barcode has to be brought very near to the scanner for it to be read. On the other hand, RFID does not require line of sight. RFID tags can be read as long as they are within the range of a reader. Barcodes have other shortcomings as well. If a label is ripped, soiled or falls off, there is no way to scan the item. And, standard barcodes identify only the manufacturer and product, not the unique item. The barcode on one milk cartoon is the same as every other, making it impossible to identify which one might pass its expiry date first.
Cost is a major factor hampering the widespread use of RFID tags. An RFID will always be more expensive than barcodes. One has to make sure that the value of the RFID tag is less than the value of the product itself.
The other factor that causes a hindrance in the path of RFID usage is the lack of standards. This means that there is no standard protocol used for communication between a tag and a reader. So, a reader might pick up data from a different tag than it is supposed to, leading to a lot of confusion. International standards have been adopted for some very specific applications, such as tracking animals. Many other standards initiatives are underway.
RFIDs and barcodes co-exist as of now, and it would be incorrect to say that RFID tags will completely replace barcodes; they will continue to co-exist. The reason for this is that there will be goods that will be lower in value to put RFID tags to track or identify them, which is where barcodes will fit into the cost factor
PRADA’S RETAIL OUTLET
Manhattan, New York
You could walk into Italian designer prada’s Manhattan outlet, pick up a suit and take it to the trial room, where a touch-screen LCD will give you information related to the suit that you’ve chosen –other colors that the suit is available in, accessories that will match your suit and pictures of models wearing your suit. This concept of prada’s retailing reeks of technology. In this case, it is RFID .
The clothes at the outlet have RFID tags, while the trial rooms are fitted with RFID readers. Each trial room has two readers fitted with RFID antennae. One looks like a small square box and is used for scanning accessories such as shoes and purse, while the other is like a long closet wherein you hang your clothes. The tags and reader do their magic and come up with all sorts of information about the item that you’ve chosen.
But, prada is not what it is for nothing. It could end up with dissatisfied customers if the touch screen tells the customer that he can get the particular suit he has chosen evening gray color, but the sales person discovers that gray is out of stock!Prada has taken care of this by having a real-time inventory system on the backend, such that you are shown only the options that are in stock.
You’ll find another use of technology by prada interesting, though it doesn’t have anything to do with identity management. The trial rooms at the outlet are made of clear glass that becomes opaque only when you step on a black button on the floor!
Security mechanism has long been based on a combination of two concepts: what you have and what you know. The basic credit-card securities is considered insufficient since credit cards and PINs can be recorded, lost or stolen. A more secure method of security could be based on ‘what you are’.
Biometric technology involves the measurement of a distinctive biological feature to verify the claimed identity of an individual through automated means.
The distinctive traits could be physical as well as behavioural and one that can be practically used to establish identity. Common physical biometrics include fingerprints, hand and palm geometry, retina, iris, facial characteristics and now voice recognition. Behavioral characteristics include signaure, voice(which also has a physical component), keystrroke pattern and gait. Within this list, technologies for signature and voice are the most developed. In general, physical biometrics is more accurate than behavioral.
Unlike a PIN or password, biometric characteristics can’t be cracked, lost. Borrowed or stolen like an identification it very secure and convenient to use card,making.
WHERE IS IT USED?
Let’s see how the various biometric characteristics can be used for identification.
FINGERPRINTS AND HAND GEOMETRY
A fingerprint-scanning device looks at the patterns found on a fingertip. Methods include matching minutiae (involves mapping the complete print), straight pattern matching of the print). It’s low on cost and easy to integrate, which makes it apt for in-house systems and workstations access application areas. The approach of hand geometry involves analyzing the shape and size of the hand. It’s more apt in cases where the number of users is large, such as attendance points.
RETINA AND IRIS
A retina-scanning device uses a low-intensity light source through an optical coupler to scan the unique patterns of the retina , that ism the layer of blood vessels. The technology works well but not if you wear glasses or contact lenses. It is also little intrusive.
Iris scanning analyzes the colored ring of tissue surrounding the pupil. It works with a monochrome camera, which records the unique colored streaks and lines and then converts them into an iris code. It’s considered to be more accurate than retina scan but is not very easy to use and also lacks on ease of integration. However, it works well with glasses and contact lenses.
As the name suggests, face recognition analyzes facial characteristics and works with a digital camera to develop a facial image. This method is less expensive than others as it requires a standard digital camera with a resolution of at least 320X240 and a frame rate of minimum 3-5 fps, a video card, a processor having a decent speed and the requisite software. There are several techniques- ‘Eigenfaces’ or PCA(Principal Component Analysis), LFA(Local Feature Analysis), neural networks and AFP(Automatic Face Processing).
PCA makes a database of millions of faces, which can be compared for any common feature. The database comprises 2D, grayscale and global images, each having unique patterns of light and dark areas.
During recognition, the closest result is flashed from the database. It gives skewed result, when there is a change in facial expression. LFA is based on individual features, their relative distances from each other and change caused in other features as a result of change in one feature.
The voice-recognition procedure involves transforming voice into text using a voice-recognition algorithm. The voice of an individual is recognized based on his pronunciation of phonemes, which is unique for all humans.
This system is easy to develop because most PCs - have microphones these days. However, ambient noise can affect quality and thus verification. The procedure of recording and verification comparatively complex and thus is not so user friendly.
The method of providing biometric security are many, but the right method for you depends upon your requirements. The choice has to be made taking into consideration factors such as error of incidence, accuracy, easy of use, cost, user acceptance, stability and security level required.
a perfect fit in organizations, which need to secure data, check entries and verify attendance, etc. but cost is a major factor while deploying a biometric solution, as it is still an expensive venture.
suitable for e-commerce applications particularly for online banking or
other transactions. Visa card is working with a manufacturer of voice-recognition software to develop security tools for e-commerce.
In India Hughes Escorts Communications is providing a service called Direct Way Global Communication, which uses fingerprint scanning for security. They have set up their studios in institutes such as XLRI, NIMS, and IIM-K where faculties come in for distance-learning interactive programs. In their nationwide classrooms, students are permitted attendance and entry based on their thumbprints. Axis, an Indian technology company, is also coming up with biometric solutions for various sectors.
There is unlimited scope for the application of biometrics in practically every area. It is a perfect fit in organizations, which need to secure data, check entries and verify attendance, etc. but cost is a major factor while deploying a biometric solution, as it is still an expensive venture.
Charles de gaulle Airport, Paris
Getting your eyes scanned may make you feel as cool as Tom Cruise (remember Mission Impossible?), but is this technology actually hot in real life? There are ambitious plans of implementing It at airports and in passports. In fact, the Charles de Gaulle airport in paris plans to introduce fingerprint scanning for Air France’s frequent-flier passengers to ensure that the person who checks in and the one who boards the plane is indeed one. Other than the security angle, it also hopes to hasten the check-in process. Air France will, of course, have to respect passenger privacy.
A more noticeable use of biometrics is in the use of fingerprint recognition in lieu for passwords to secure notebooks. You must have seen the ads of Samsung’s recent X10 note PC that boast of this feature. The fingerprint-recognition device in notebooks is a PCMCIA card with a scanner, which creates a unique geometric pattern for each fingerprint and encrypts and stores it for recall.
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