Soon you won’t be able to pry secrets from cold, dead hands

by David Solomonoff

Biometric identification systems based on fingerprints are now used in applications ranging from forensic science to payment transactions. But to prevent these systems from being outwitted by criminals, they must be able to detect “liveness” in two types of scenarios: forgeries using silicone plastic fingers, polymeric stamps, wood glue film coatings, etc. as well as genuine severed fingers or fingers from corpses.

A new method for detecting these forgeries has been developed by identifying the “blanching effect” – the strong colour change that occurs when a living finger is pressed against a surface.

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