375: The Inconvenient Truth About Biometric Security and Privacy Protection

Nov 06, 2017
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Biometric authentication is often promoted as the most secure method to access our accounts using our unique individual characteristics. Rather trying to remember a password, we have become the password as new tech devices use fingerprints, facial recognition, eye scans (iris, retina) and even voice recognition.

With the launch of the highly anticipated iPhone X and it’s use of facial recognition for users to unlock their smartphone. I found myself asking, just how secure is biometric authentication? I quickly learned that although the authentication method itself is deemed secure, the same old problems could still occur. What if the database leaks and this data becomes compromised?

Debesh Choudhury is an Electro-Optics Engineer and I invited him on to today’s podcast to share his insights and expertise.He is a hardcore innovator and researcher with 22+ years of hands-on experience in defense research and information security. But, he has also got 15+ years of experience in teaching electronics and communication engineering in the higher education arena.

Besides having a Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India, he also enjoyed his two years postdoctoral stint at the University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo, Japan. Debesh was fortunate to have collaborated with celebrated American Scientist late Prof. H. John Caulfield. In 2011, they invented a new direction “Artificial Color Perception using Microwaves.

debesh choudhury

Debesh worked on 3D shape sensing and recognition for quite some time. His technique of 3D object recognition has yielded robust technology for 3D human face recognition. He also developed an asymmetric cryptosystem for multimodal biometric security. A part of his research was presented at the 2016 SPIE Defense & Security Conference in Baltimore, USA.

In his 2016 research paper, Debesh already demonstrated how privacy protection of biometrics can be achieved by multimodal biometric encryption. Privacy protection of biometric data of the citizens is a deep concern because leakage of the biometric database can cause serious damage.

The recent Equifax data breach of 2017 and earlier Yahoo security breach of 2016 have incited Debesh to give his hands to improve data security and privacy. Debesh is now vowed to channelize his expertise in privacy protection of biometrics for solving the data security problems.

Have you ever stopped to consider the implications of what would happen if biometric and other personal data was compromised and became accessible online? If you hadn’t, maybe today’s podcast will make you think a little more cautiously about biometric security.

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1 Comment. Leave new

Debesh Choudhury
November 14, 2017 6:24 pm

I guessed that the face ID of iPhone X could be broken by 3D printed 3D face models. And my guess is proved to be correct. This week a group of security researchers or ethical hackers in Vietnam cracked the face ID with 3D printed 3D face mask!

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