Wednesday, August 15, 2018

New SmartMetric portable smart card securely stores medical records

Slide photo showing SmartMetric smart card

SmartMetric has announced a new biometric protected portable health record card that can store your medical scans and images. The card addresses a need for secure, portable medical records. Having access to these records in an emergency may shorten the time to receive live saving medical intervention.

The card is the size and thickness of a credit card. Inside the card is a powerful processor with extensive memory. A fingerprint scanner on the card surface scans the owner’s fingerprint. If the scan matches the encrypted fingerprint information stored on the card, the medical records can be accessed through a computer worldwide. 

“Having spent a long time in research and development of our biometric secure fingerprint unlocked credit card, we have been able to use the same miniature electronics technology into creating this amazing leap forward in portable medical files,” according to SmartMetric’s President and CEO, Chaya Hendrick.

This card can help give people with pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart conditions or other serious medical conditions peace of mind, especially as they travel. 

While not available to the general public at this time, the biometric health record card has gone into production for a field trial. SmartMetrics, through partnership with Argentina-based Grupo Datco, has contracted with a large academic institution for campus use. The trial will allow other businesses and government agencies to see the potential of biometric health record card. 

SmartMetric Develops A Biometric Portable Health Records Card That Stores Your Medical Records Inside the Card That Is Secured By Your Fingerprint

SmartMetric media release, Aug. 07, 2018 

SmartMetric Puts Biometric Card Into Production

By Alex Perala, July 16, 2018, for

New Distribution Partner Stokes Excitement Over SmartMetric Biometric Card

By Alex Perala, May 29, 2018, for

Accurate Biometrics

Practical solutions for fingerprint collection and processing.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Fingerprints, koalas and the FBI – fascinating facts

Photo of a koala bear
Photo: Getty Images/Andrew Merry

Our fingerprints are uniquely formed partly from genetics, and partly from pressure against our tiny finger pads in our mother’s womb as we grow and develop. Our fingerprints don’t change throughout our lifetime, but the ease of reading them does. When we reach puberty and our skin gets oilier, latent prints become easier to read. As we get old, our fingerprints start to harden, making it more difficult to scan and read the prints of seniors.

Some climbing animals such as gorillas, chimpanzees and koalas have fingerprints as well. Scientists believe it has something to do with evolutionary selection favoring ridged paws. However, a report of koala prints fooling Australian crime scene investigators is just a tall tale. A fingerprint specialist can spot the differences.

Historically, evidence of fingerprints being used to identify criminals was found in China in the 3rd century BCE. Fingerprint use in the West really expanded in the 1800s when Scottish physician Henry Fauld wrote an article for a science journal noting that fingerprints could be used for forensic purposes. Faulds wrote to Charles Darwin for help. An ailing Darwin passed the request to a scholarly relative, Francis Galton. Galton, known as the pioneer of fingerprint identification, amassed a collection of over 8,000 prints and developed a system for naming and classifying them.

The use of fingerprints as identification took another leap in the 1970’s with the introduction of computer-based systems. In the 1920s, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover ordered the compilation of a national pool of fingerprints. Today, the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) system has a database of over 135 million civil and criminal prints. The average query response time of the Tenprint Rapsheet Request (TPRS) system is less than 20 seconds.

Fingerprints are a standard of biometric identification. They are easy to use, convenient, and you can’t forget them like you can a wallet. Biometrics authentication methods are often tested – both by researchers and by hackers – and therefore are constantly being refined. For example, it is not the actual fingerprint image stored in your mobile device, but encrypted data created with your fingerprint and complex algorithms. The future of biometric authentication may be layered authentication, using a combination of fingerprints, face and voice.

Koalas, wood glue and the FBI: Fascinating facts about fingerprinting

By Alexandra Fisher and Simon Leo Brown for ABC News, Late Night Live, Australia, Jun, 30 2018

FBI NGI Monthly Fact Sheet

June 2018

Accurate Biometrics

Practical solutions for fingerprint collection and processing.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Biometric ID to end catfishing in online dating

Stylized graphic of online dating app
Photo credit: LoveBlock

LoveBlock is introducing a technology based on Blockchain to create Biometric IDs for the authentication and security of members of online dating platforms. LoveBlock hopes to revolutionize online dating with their new technology.

When users join a dating platfom, they provide personal information and upload a unique photo or video. As part of the LoveBlock verification process, they would then be required to submit a real time photo or video where they might be asked to hold up a certain number of fingers or recite a sequence of numbers, etc. 

The photos or videos are scanned, matched and verified. The biometric information becomes part of a member’s Biometric ID, which is encrypted and saved on the Blockchain.

If a fraud is reported by a member of the dating app and verified, the information will be recorded and become part of the scammer’s Biometric ID. The user would also be blocked from the LoveBlock network.

LoveBlock plans to reach out and connect with other dating platforms to exchange this information. This cooperation between dating platforms will greatly reduce fraud and enhance security for all members. 

LoveBlock technology is develop by the LB Team, based in Singapore:

The LB Team is working closely with the dating app Luxy, with over 2 million users worldwide.

Loveblock’s Security System To Wipe Out Scammers In The Online Dating Industry

By Jillian Godsil, June 18, 2018, for Irish Tech News

Accurate Biometrics

Practical solutions for fingerprint collection and processing.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Biometrics now required to travel, study, work or immigrate to Canada

Slide demonstrating fingerprint data collection
Photo credit: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Every year Canada welcomes millions of visitors, and hundreds of thousands seeking to study, work or become a permanent Canadian resident. Starting in the summer of 2018, visitors, students, workers and immigrants will need to provide fingerprints and facial scan biometrics. There are a few exemptions, including US nationals.

The scope of the program has grown, as the number of countries participating has increased from 30 to about 150 countries, including applicants from Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The biometrics data is collected at Visa Application Centers (VACs) managed by private companies and international organizations.

Beginning July 31, 2018, applicants will pay an $85 fee CAD ( about $69 USD) for the biometric data collection service to help defray the cost of the program.

Mathieu Genest, a spokesman for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, emphasizes that applicant privacy concerns are of key importance, “The government of Canada takes its privacy obligations very seriously, and safeguards have been built into policies, procedures and technical systems.”

Biometrics data from the program will be shared with Canada’s international intelligence partners: the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

The data will be stored for 10 years, or destroyed if permanent residency is granted.

For an informational video visit:

To find a Visa Application Center visit:

For detailed information on Canada’s expanded biometrics program, visit this Canadian Government website page:

Ottawa expands program to collect fingerprints, photos from foreign nationals coming to Canada

Kathleen Harris for CBC News, June 5, 2018

Accurate Biometrics

Practical solutions for fingerprint collection and processing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Robots: helping to improve care of the elderly

Allowing robots to help care for the elderly may seem cold and lacking in the human touch, but in Japanese media, robots are depicted as helpful and friendly. Many Japanese view them positively. With an aging population, over 1 in 4 are at least 65 years old, and a dwindling work force, Japan needs creative solutions. Lessons learned from Japan’s experience will benefit other countries with aging populations, including the US.

While robots will never replace human caregivers, they help meet a variety of needs. They can be companionable, such as Paro, the furry white seal that makes seal cries when petted. They can aid the disabled, such as Tree, an upright robot that crawls the floor showing a senior where to place the next step and offering balance support. They also help staff, such as HAL (Hybrid Assisted Limb) which provides back support and powered assistance when lifting people.

Robots are not cheap. For example, Paro the robot seal took over 10 years to develop and received over $20 million in government support. It currently costs 400,000 yen ($3,800 USD). Most facilities using robots have relied on local and central government subsidies.

At Tokyo’s Shin-tomi nursing home, using robots hasn’t reduced personnel costs or working hours, but they have made the work environment safer, and boosted the morale of both staff and residents, making them feel supported.

The global market for robots for the elderly and disabled is currently small ($19.2 million in 2016), and made up mostly of Japanese manufacturers. Future market growth will be exponential: demand in Japan alone is expected to reach $3.8 billion by 2035, when about 1/3 of Japan’s population will be 65 or older.

Japan also hopes to supply a lucrative export industry to places such as Germany, China, Italy and other countries facing aging populations.

How robots could help care for Japan's aging population

Malcolm Foster for Independent, UK, April 9, 2018. Photography by Kim Kyung-Hoon. 

Accurate Biometrics

Practical solutions for fingerprint collection and processing.

Friday, May 18, 2018

New DNA test predicts hair, eye and now skin color

Photo of artistic composite of faces
Photo Credit: Science Daily

An international team of scientists has created a new DNA tool that is able to predict skin pigment color as well as hair and eye color from a DNA sample of low quantity and low quality, as might be found at a crime scene or in archeological remains.

Previous DNA tests have had accuracy predicting hair and eye color. The new web tool, the HIrisPlex-S DNA test system, can profile skin pigment to 5 color types: very pale, pale, intermediate, dark, and dark to black. The testing cannot be used to identify race or ethnicity, but more shades of color similar to color swatches.

The tool could be helpful to law enforcement forensics because it’s designed to be used when standard forensic profiling isn’t helpful — when there’s no reference DNA to use for comparison. Eyewitness accounts usually mention hair and skin color. Being able to test hair and skin color from DNA will allow law enforcement to be more objective about witness descriptions.

The team was led by scientists from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) School of Science and Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, Netherlands. The team is currently offering use of the tool online, free of charge.

Forensics: New tool predicts eye, hair and skin color from a DNA sample of an unidentified individual

Science Daily, May 14, 2018

How Accurately Can Scientists Reconstruct A Person’s Face From DNA?

IUPUI School of Science, May 14 2018

Accurate Biometrics

Practical solutions for fingerprint collection and processing.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Fingerprint drug testing technology leaps forward

Photo of enlarged fingerprint detail
Photo Credit:

Lab testing with paper spray mass spectrometry is able to analyze and detect chemicals left behind in fingerprints. Traces of sweat left behind in the ridges of fingerprints can include traces of whatever substances the fingers have touched. Traces of drugs have been found to be surprisingly common in fingerprints of the general population.

In testing by the University of Surrey, with partners from the Netherlands Forensic Institute and Intelligent Fingerprinting, 13% of verified non-drug users tested were found to traces of cocaine in their fingerprints! The testing methodology is so sensitive (to the tens of pictograms, or 0.00000000001g) that it can detect trace amounts of cocaine transferred from a banknote or other contaminated surface. A drug user would have a much higher (100X or more) amount of cocaine in their fingerprint residue, so the test can tell drug users and non-users apart.

An exciting possibility for the future of medical testing is the modification of fingerprint testing technology to detect therapeutic drugs. New fingerprint testing can even detect drugs — prescription or otherwise — that a person has ingested. For patients being treated for epilepsy, diabetes, heart conditions or psychosis, fingerprint testing would be an easy and convenient way to test whether prescribed drugs were being take regularly and absorbed properly.

Intelligent Fingerprinting (Cambridge, UK) has developed the world’s first portable fingerprint-based drug detection system. It works using antibodies — similar to a home pregnancy test — to test for specific classes of drugs such as opiates, amphetamines, cocaine and THC (marijuana). The portable fingerprint testing device is currently being used in drug treatment centers, and is being pilot tested by medical examiners in the UK to determine the cause of death.

The company believes the portable test will become very popular in law enforcement — police, probation, prisons, and likely, eventually, roadside testing. Intelligent Fingerprinting  is now marketing the portable fingerprint test in the US and Canada. The popularity and wide spread growth of this type of testing is raising privacy and consent issues. Technology moves fast, and thoughtful ethical and legal resolutions evolve slowly.

The Hidden Data in Your Fingertips

By Melanie Bailey, April 27, 2018, for The Conversation US, published on

First large-scale study of cocaine users leads to breakthrough in drug testing

Published Sept. 21, 2017, by the University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, UK 

Fingerprint Scanning Technology Leaps Forward, But to What End?

By Rod McCullom, April 11,2018,  for

Accurate Biometrics

Practical solutions for fingerprint collection and processing.