» What is biometric authentication?

Biometric Authentication is the act of establishing or confirming something (or someone) as authentic, that is, that claims made by or about the thing are true by use of a physical metric, such as a fingerprint to verify their identity. Authentication depends upon one or more authentication factors.

In computer security, authentication is the process of attempting to verify the digital identity of the sender of a communication such as a request to log in. The sender being authenticated may be a person using a computer, a computer itself or a computer program. A blind credential, in contrast, does not establish identity at all, but only a narrow right or status of the user or program.
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» Biometrics, how is it convenient?

The convenience of biometrics is obvious to anyone who accesses a secure computer or network on a regular basis. The ability to replace existing password based systems with a biometric (fingerprint for example) would allow for a more secure computing environment, while also reducing the very real and documented cost associated with maintaining a password system. Always having your password with you and never forgetting it is a convenience we can all benefit from.

The ease of use of a biometric systems depends heavily on the type of biometric used. For example, an iris recognition system would require a learning curve before the end user would become proficient at it. It may never get to the point that it feels “Easy”. Fingerprint systems on the other hand require very little training and users typically only need to use the devices a few times before becoming proficient. This results in a pleasant experience that in short order becomes easier and more efficient than a password based system.