Tandon in the News

Biometrics in 2019: Increased Security or New Attack Vector?


  • Written by Nico Fischbach

Research cited is by CSE faculty Nasir Memon and Aditi Roy.
Just two years ago, the industry began seeing the vulnerabilities of biometric authentication when researchers at Michigan State University discovered a simple and inexpensive way to print the image of a fingerprint using a standard inkjet printer. And last year, researchers at New York University’s (NYU) Tandon School of Engineering boasted over the ability to match anyone’s fingerprints using digitally altered “masterprints.” On the individual and personal level, it may be impossible to prevent biometric data from being broadly collected and used. All but three U.S. states allow software to identify an individual using images taken without their consent while in public. And in many cases, people are readily volunteering their biometric data as a way to gain easier access to jobs, homes, cars and personal devices. However, they must insist that their data be responsibly and securely stored and used, which will ultimately be addressed through legislation for biometric privacy laws like those in Washington, Illinois, and Texas.

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