Biometrics Glossary - A

Welcome to the Biometrics Glossary - A - for terms beginning with A

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A sequence of instructions that tell a biometric system how to solve a particular problem. An algorithm will have a finite number of steps and is typically used by the biometric engine to compute whether a biometric sample and template are a match.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
Established in 1918, ANSI is a voluntary organization that creates standards for the computer industry. The FBI commissioned ANSI to create an image standard for the exchange of fingerprint data between AFIS systems.

The submission of a biometric sample to a biometric system for identification or verification. A biometric system may allow more than one attempt to identify or verify. 

The action of verifying information such as identity, ownership or authorization. The preferred biometric term is verification.

Authentication Routine
A cryptographic process used to validate a user, card, terminal, or message contents. Also known as a handshake, the routine uses important data to create a code that can be verified in real time or batch mode. (see verification)

Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)
A specialized biometric system that compares a single finger image with a database of finger images. In law enforcement, AFIS is used to collect fingerprints from criminal suspects and crime scenes. In civilian life, fingerprint scanners are used to identify employees, protect sensitive data, etc.

Automatic ID/Auto ID
An umbrella term for any biometric system or other security technology that uses automatic means to check identity. This applies to both one-to-one verification and one-to-many identification.