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Biometrics have become a popular means for access control and authentication. As the processing power of embedded systems has grown, efforts have been made to perform biometrics locally on constrained devices such as smart cards. This paper presents the design and consumer application of a portable fingerprint biometric authenticator with the form factor of a key dongle (as an alternative to biometric smart cards). A thorough investigation has been performed to determine the tradeoffs between security, performance, and energy and to determine the secure partitioning between dongle and server. Such a device could be used for applications such as automotive access control, secure credit card payments, and related authentication scenarios.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2004