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Biometric technology has been increasingly deployed in the past decade, offering greater security and convenience than traditional methods of personal recognition. Although biometric signals' quality heavily affects a biometric system's performance, prior research on evaluating quality is limited. Quality is a critical issue in security, especially in adverse scenarios involving surveillance cameras, forensics, portable devices, or remote access through the Internet. This article analyzes what factors negatively impact biometric quality, how to overcome them, and how to incorporate quality measures into biometric systems. A review of the state of the art in these matters gives an overall framework for the challenges of biometric quality.