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Biometrics are automated methods of recognizing a person based on a physiological or behavioral characteristic. Among the features measured are face, fingerprints, hand geometry, handwriting, iris, retinal, vein, and voice. Biometric data are separate and distinct from personal information. Biometric templates cannot be reverse-engineered to recreate personal information and they cannot be stolen and used to access personal information.
A fingerprint scanner system has two basic jobs -- it needs to get an image of your finger, and it needs to determine whether the pattern of ridges and valleys in this image matches the pattern of ridges and valleys in pre-scanned images. Only specific characteristics, which are unique to every fingerprint, are filtered and saved as an encrypted biometric key or mathematical representation. No image of a fingerprint is ever saved, only a series of numbers (a binary code), which is used for verification. The algorithm cannot be reconverted to an image, so no one can duplicate your fingerprints.