Biometric System – Type I & II Errors

Biometric System is referred to as a phenomenon whereby human traits such as finger prints, palm scan, voice patterns, retinal/iris scan, etc. are utilized & analyzed for identification purposes. Biometric System (aka Biometrics) provides a solid identification platform since it compares identification/authentication against physical human traits stored in a Computer System (Database). Just like any other technology; Biometrics has its drawbacks as well. Two of the most common drawbacks I would like to point out here are the following:

  • Type I Errors: These types of errors occur when a person with valid identification/authentication credentials gets rejected. This error occurs when the Biometric System is calibrated to be highly accurate. Type I Errors are most common in Top Secret facilities/organizations since they can’t afford Type II Errors. Now this begs a question: What are Type II Errors? I am glad you asked. Read below 🙂
  • Type II Errors: These types of errors occur when a person with NO credentials get access. This is a very serious issue. That is why its very important that the Biometric System be calibrated with quite precision keeping a delicate balance in mind.


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