University and startup working on 3-D finger vein encryption
05 April 2017 17:03 GMT

The École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne is working with startup Global ID on an encryption technique for processing biometric data captured via 3-D finger vein recognition.

The process could create a system that's next to impossible to counterfeit, reports Techxplore.

EPFL researchers from its Security and Cryptography Laboratory say biometric identification through vein recognition could be particularly useful for hospitals, law enforcement and even banks.

The secure identification system the partners are developing processes data more safely than current standards and that leverages 3-D vein imaging technology developed by the Idiap Research Institute in Martigny, the University of Applied Sciences in Sion (HES-SO Valais-Wallis) and Global ID, adds the magazine.

"Two-dimensional vein recognition technology is already used throughout the world, but the system has its flaws. With 3-D analysis, the risk of counterfeits is essentially non-existent since we all have different veins," explains Lambert Sonna Momo, the founder of Global ID. The vein scanner identifies someone when they place their index finger on the sensor.

This portable scanner has potential to be used in a wide variety of applications, from financial transaction authentication to border controls to identifying patients in hospitals. In fact, efforts in this regard are already under way at Geneva University Hospitals and the University Teaching Hospital of Yaoundé in Cameroon.

Privacy and data soverighnty are at the heart of EPFL's project.

"Guaranteeing data security is crucial, such as when countries want to store their data abroad," says Sonna Momo. To resolve this issue, Serge Vaudenay's Security and Cryptography Laboratory developed a system that uses homomorphic encryption: the scanner and identification mechanisms process the data without actually decrypting them, so that people's information remains confidential.