General Questions

What is biometrics?

  • Biometrics is an automated system of recognizing a person based on the person’s physical or behavioral characteristics. It is the same system that the human brain uses to recognize and distinguish one person from another. It is a system that recognizes a person based on “who” the person is and does not rely on “what a person is carrying” or “what a person knows.” Things that a person can carry, such as keys and ID-badges, can be lost, stolen, or duplicated. Things that a person knows, such as passwords and pin-numbers, can be forgotten, stolen, or duplicated. Instead, biometrics relies on “who” a person is and is based on a unique immutable human characteristic that cannot be lost, forgotten, stolen or duplicated. For these reasons, biometrics provides a much stronger level of security, while maintaining convenience and ease for users of biometrics. It is this security and convenience that SecuGen’s fingerprint recognition systems provide.

What are the advantages of SecuGen sensors?

  • High image quality. SecuGen readers use a unique, patented SEIR (Surface Enhanced Irregular Reflection) imaging method to generate high quality fingerprint images that are characterized by (a) high contrast that makes it easy to distinguish the ridges from valleys, (b) low distortion that accurately represents the relative positions of the ridges and valleys across the entire image area, and (c) high resolution that clearly displays the minutiae in a fingerprint image. Compared to SecuGen readers, conventional optical fingerprint readers use total internal reflection imaging methods that generate lower contrast images where it is not easy to distinguish ridges from valleys and can result in matching errors.

  • Quality Production. Some optical fingerprint readers require fine hand-calibration of its lens and optical components. Because of this, image quality can vary significantly from one unit to another, and mass production of such units could be costly or nearly impossible. Such systems cannot endure high physical impact or shock, limiting their potential for outdoor or high traffic use. SecuGen’s patented optical system and patented mass production quality control process have allowed us to produce high quality fingerprint readers that generate high image quality fingerprints without calibration issues.

  • Compact size. Conventional optical readers require longer focal lengths between lens and prism to reduce image distortion caused by the total internal reflection imaging method. The longer focal lengths result in larger readers that cannot be reduced in size without compromising image quality. SecuGen’s patented optical system was designed to produce the highest image quality in the most compact module available today making it easy to integrate into many kinds of devices.

  • Performance Under Extreme Conditions. Unlike other optical readers, SecuGen readers can operate under extreme temperature, humidity, rough and harsh environments and are highly resistant to abrasion and is nearly indestructible. Due to their superior wear-resistance, SecuGen readers function well even under the most difficult outdoor weather conditions.

  • Low Cost. SecuGen offers the most cost-effective fingerprint recognition solution with the highest image quality available in the market today. SecuGen’s rugged materials and patented quality controlled manufacturing processes mean reliable, mass produced products with long life and low maintenance expenses. The result is a tremendous value to our customers at a significantly lower price compared to optical systems with comparable quality and performance.

Certifications, Standards and Ratings

What does the STQC certification imply?

  • STQC (Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification) Directorate is an attached office of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India which provides quality assurance services in the area of Electronics and IT. For any Aadhaar based application, the fingerprint scanner used is required to be STQC certified.

What is PIV?

  • PIV (Personal Identity Verification) refers to the PIV-071006 standard designed to support one-to-one fingerprint verification. NIST Special Publication 800-76, Biometric Data Specification for Personal Identity Verification" specifies the technical acquisition and formatting requirements for biometric data of the PIV system.

What does FAP20 mean?

  • FAP (Fingerprint Acquisition Profile) is a specification based on device capture dimensions (area of the sensor), the image quality specification applied, and the number of simultaneous fingers that can be captured.

  • A FAP20 device has a 0.6 x 0.8 inch capture area as against a FAP10 device which has a 0.5 x 0.65 inch capture area. A larger capture area ensures that users with large fingers are not falsely rejected.

What does IP65 mean?

  • The IP Code (International Protection Marking or Ingress Protection Marking), rates how much protection a casing or enclosure provides against dust, water and other intrusion. The first digit of the represents protection against dust (solid particles) and the second represents protection against water (liquids).

  • An IP65 rating implies complete protection against dust and protection against water jets in any direction.

What is Level 0 (L0) and Level 1 (L1) in the context of Aadhaar?

  • As per UIDAI guidelines, it is mandatory to use registered devices for all Aadhaar based applications. This implies that every fingerprint scanner used for an Aadhaar based application has a unique identifier registered with UIDAI. Moreover, every fingerprint scan from a registered device is signed by the device provider and encrypted along with the time stamp, before being sent to the host application. This ensures that third party applications cannot store and use biometric data for authentication at a later time.

  • When the encryption and signing of the biometric data is done on the host device, it is referred to as Level 0 (L0). When the encryption and signing is done on the scanning device itself (before sending to the host), it is referred to as Level 1 (L1). As of March 2018, specifications for L1 certified devices have not been finalized by UIDAI.