Biometrics and Fingerprints

This is the biometry page of:


Ton van der Putte     and     Jeroen Keuning

You can contact us by email at the address biometr at


Working as security consultants, our day-to-day work consists of advising corporations on the selection, implementation and evaluation of security measures to protect their information. One of our specializations is biometrics. Ton is world famous for his research on the security of fingerprint recognition systems.

Biometrics add a new dimension to identification and authentication of persons. Besides knowledge (e.g. passwords) and possession (e.g. smart cards), biometrics provide new means of security. Biometrics are used to recognize or verify physical or behavioral characteristics of a person. But before deploying any security tool or system, one should carefully examine the sensibility and added value of it, as we do in our daily work. For that purpose it is important to know the strength and weaknesses of the security measure you are about to implement.

To assess the risk and security of the system itself, Ton started the evaluation of biometrical fingerprint recognition systems over 10 years ago. As he discovered back then, the systems have some serious security flaws. We have waited until the year 2000 before making this story known to the public, in order to enable the manufacturers to fix the problems. However, none of the fingerprint systems we have tested have been able to close the security holes in it. The main issues with fingerprint technology are (see also Article 3 below):

Obviously, other biometric identification or verification do not suffer from (all of) the above weaknesses, but should also be very carefully considered on their purpose, use, and added value before implementing.

Articles (click on the links to download):

Television appearances: