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Biometric authentication is a one-to-one verification process. A successful biometric system must be capable of avoiding a fraudulent claim while at the same time ensuring the privacy of individuals. This paper presents a novel framework for using the electrocardiogram (ECG) as a biometric system for human authentication. A new feature extraction technique known as pulse active ratio (PAR) is derived and used to generate novel ECG feature vectors. The proposed method is validated by experiments on 112 subjects, performing 9800 ECG comparisons providing a 10% improvement when compared to conventional temporal and amplitude feature extraction methods.