FSP 305 Forensic Biometrics Analysis

Mode of Study -- Online/Distance
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    Course Outline

    In the subject Forensic Science, Biometrics has been used since ancient times. The first textbook on the subject was written by Sir Francis Galton in 1892. The French policeman Bertillon developed a system of personal identification by bodily/physical measurements. It came to be known as the Bertillon system. From about 1910, the fingerprints became more broadly used, since it was easy to equate and stock in comparison to the Bertillon system where many measurements had to be taken from each body part, with many possible errors.

     

    Nowadays, there exist large Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS). In the early 1970s, computer based systems were viable for fingerprints. Face comparison is also commonly done at police stations. The scientific background of face comparisons still needs to be validated. In Forensic Science, there are several efforts for making a face comparison more independent. Despite the face databases that are available, automated searching in these databases is not realistic without going through many false hits.

     

    Iris system databases are labelled to be very operative. However, in Forensic Science, we do not often get cases with iris-comparisons. Commercial systems for iris comparison for access control are implemented in airports. The largest database of irises is reported to be in United Arab Emirates, where over half a million irises were in the database in 2005.

     

    Databases of handwriting are developed, however they are not in widespread use. Also commercial implementation of handwriting comparison exists in the field of biometrics. For forensic science, also several other biometric features are used as evidence. Evidence such as nail marks (from fingernails), are more easily accepted in court. The advantage of the databases of biometrics, such as fingerprints, irises, faces and many more, is that there exist a database and more information can be extracted from them based on statistics.

     

    This course ensures the students to understand various parameters that should be considered in order to recognize the differential aspects related to fingerprints, iris, facial recognition etc., in order to apply in criminal cases involving the utility of Forensic Biometrics.