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Biometrics puts all the cards in hand

09.01.2003


Finnish Miotec has increased smartcard security through biometrics, which uses physical characteristics, such as fingerprint, retinal patterns, or voice to identify an individual.



Biometric technology uses physical characteristics, such as fingerprint, retinal patterns, or voice to identify an individual. In traditional biometric technology, the biometric information was stored in databases or readers. Not only was this exposing the secure information to hacking, but was considered a violation of privacy – the user’s personal information was stored in a potentially unsecured device. Miotec moved the biometric information into the smartcard.

Mr Ari Saapunki, Miotec CTO, says Miotec has been able to find areas in the card business where they have been more nimble than the large global card producers, offering their expertise as a design partner to those creating cards for secure transactions.


Partnering with Precise Biometrics from Sweden, Miotec was the first to implement the biometric verification algorithm in the card microchip. This makes it both harder to hack and puts the privacy issue back into the hands of the card owner.

Miotec makes good use of federally funded projects. Currently, Miotec is involved in an EU-level project on how to combine biometrics and passports.

As with partnering, Mr. Saapunki says these federally funded projects are also a great way to share resources and tap into the expertise of other small companies in the same field. Miotec participates in a project led by VTT, the Technical Research Centre of Finland, and funded by Tekes to study of biometrical technologies on the market and the relationship between different verification methods – fingerprint, voice, face, and retina.

Mr. Saapunki says that, “This is a crucial project. The scanning and evaluating of these technologies, alone, would have been impossible to do on a small R&D budget. The results so far are very good for us."

Mira Banerjee-Rantala | alfa

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