Are you wondering “what is Biometrics?”; “what it has to do with our life? Business?”; and more questions inside your mind?

Well, let us share with you Biometrics insight and hopefully our elaboration would bring out beneficial information as you needed.

The Definition

If we were to define biometry or biometrics, in the most straightforward sense, we would say the “measurement of the human body”. According to *Thales updated on 2020, Biometrics is the science of analyzing physical or behavioral characteristics specific to each individual to be able to authenticate their identity.

There are two categories of biometrics:

  1. Physiological measurements (morphological or biological).

Morphological mostly we have known consist of finger print, the shape of the hand (palm), the eye (iris and retina). Biological mostly consist of DNA, blood, saliva, or urine which are may be used by medical teams and police forensics.

  1. Behavioral measurements

The most common are voice recognition, signature dynamics, gestures, the sound of steps, the way we use object, etc. In our daily basis we unconsciously have been familiar with, as for example by smelling familiar scent of perfume, we would figure out who the person is coming from another room. Another example when we working at office, while focusing our eyes on our computer we would easily figure out who the person is walking behind you as you have been familiar with his/her sound of step foot.

Later on we will focus more on discussing Physiological measurement which is now trending from business perspective.


 The History

Arise from the research, back in second century B.C., the Chinese emperor Ts’In she was already authenticating specific seals with a fingerprint. Later in the 19th century, *Bertillon took the first steps in scientific policing. He used measurements taken of specific anatomical characteristics to identify reoffending criminals, a technique that often proved successful, though without offering any real guarantee of reliability.

This budding use of biometrics was then somewhat forgotten, only to be rediscovered by

 *William James Herschel, a British officer, to be used for an entirely different purpose, which he had his subcontractors sign contracts with their fingerprints.

Later on since 1888 -1924 biometrics identification became a common practice within law enforcement in US and Europe, until today.

For the behavioral measurement were used back in around the 1860s, the Morse code were used by Telegraph operator to communicate each other during the World War II.


The Use Cases

Today Biometric technology is growing rapidly, particularly in the field of identity documents.

The main purpose of this approach is to proof a true individual’s identity. This goal can be attain by combining technologies such a ID, smart cards, etc. compare with the possession of the individual.

Considering how this approach is extremely effective and reliable, this Biometric approach are now commonly use by myriad business such as:

  1. Law enforcements and public security (criminal/suspect identification)
  2. Military (enemy/ally identification)
  3. Banking
  4. Healthcare (insurance)
  5. Border, travel, and migration control (traveler/migrant/passenger identification)
  6. Civil identification (citizen/resident/voter identification)
  7. Retails
  8. Mobile Commerce

The Benefit

The concentration of the use human characteristics or Biometrics approach has become a new trend to support business strategy. Certainly, we are required to be open minded that each technology has pros and cons in their application, although for Biometric approach itself historically proven has been brought out tremendous benefits, as you can see below:

  • Increase the security parameter as it is seamlessly effective to prevent risks (forgery proof).
  • Improve the speed of authenticating process in line with the business speed appetite, as the combination result of uniqueness Biometrics of each individual and technology.
  • Reliable sources, documentations based are universal legal based sources i.e. ID issued by Government, etc.
  • Accurate measurements, the uniqueness makes it possible to differentiate one individual from another, recordable and allowing for future comparison purposes.

The Biometric Forecast Study

To deeper the application of Biometric trend in the future. Below we will show you forecast result from several research we have obtained, although we do not limit you from performing your own research to get broader forecast and personal enquiry.

Without further due, kindly see following forecasts as follows:

According to Biometric Update posted on March 20, 2020, global biometric market to surpass $45B by 2024, based on a compound annual growth rate of 19.6 percent.

Advanced technologies such along with smartphones and the pervasiveness of mobile biometric identity authentication demand, when Asia-pacific will experience spending on Biometric-authorized application.

The Application in Indonesia

Back in 2009 Indonesian government through the *Ministry of Home Affairs launched the national updated ID project to issue KTP electronic, as the combination of demographic with biometrics authentication, included photo and fingerprint of the individual. The main purpose is to reduce identity fraud and improve operational performance.

The issuance of this new KTP electronic “KTP-el”, as in accordance with Indonesian regulation

no. 23 of 2006; and Presidential regulation no. 35 of 2010 concerning amendments to Presidential regulation no. 26 of 2009 concerning the application of KTP based on the National Population Registration Number.


The Wrap-up

Biometric is a science of analyzing physical or behavioral characteristics specific to each individual to be able to authenticate their identity, today commonly use face recognition, fingerprint or Iris scan.

In practical this Biometric technology is extremely tremendous to support myriad business in improving their operational process and risks mitigation.

Security and compliance applicable should depend on each business field and local regulators.

We wish our Biometric starter knowledge could enlightened your insight.

Thank you.


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Credit to:


  • Biometric Update:

  • The Ministry of Home Affair;

  • Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi “BPPT”);

  • Wikipedia-Alphonse Bertillion ;

  • Wikipedia - William Herschel;,_2nd_Baronet

Legal references:

  • Undang-Undang No.23 Tahun 2006 tentang “Administrasi Kependudukan”
  • Peraturan Presiden No.35 Tahun 2010 tentang “Perubahan atas Peraturan Presiden No.26 Tahun 2009 Tentang penerapan Kartu Tanda Penduduk Berbasis Nomor Induk Kependudukan Secara Nasional”
  • Undang-undang No.24 Tahun 2013 tentang “Perubahan atas Undang-Undang Nomor.23 Tahun 2006 Tentang Administrasi Kependudukan”