Biometric technology is a product of a long history that began around the 1960s when scientists recognized physiological sounds and phonic voices. In 1969, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) pushed for automatic fingerprint identification to map unique patterns and ridges in fingerprints.
Biometric science boomed during the 1990s when the Department of Defense (DoD) funded face recognition algorithms for commercial markets in collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Products Agency (DARPA). Lockheed Martin purchased an automated fingerprint identification device for use by the FBI.
In the 2000s, West Virginia University established the first Bachelor’s degree program in Computer Engineering and Biometrics. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standardized generic biometric technologies, promoted international biometric research and development, and encouraged exchange.
The European Biometric Forum was created to address market fragmentation and promote the adoption of biometric technology. Face recognition was accepted by the European Biometric Forum as a biometric identity verification method for passports and other Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTDs). The United States immigration department also used biometric data such as fingerprints and DNA swabs to identify and track national security threats.
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