The Face Is Familiar, But I Can’t Place The Finger

Are you tired of passwords? Most Internet users say they have too many. So what would you say to a web logon that recognizes your face or fingerprint?

Massachusetts-based eTrue is hoping you’ll like the idea. The company announced Tuesday that it has be come an alliance partner with Santa Clara-based Exodus Communications (Nasdaq: EXDS) to host their service.

“We’re very pleased to join with Exodus as an alliance partner in bringing the security and convenience of biometrics to the masses over the Internet,” says eTrue CEO David Teitelman.

The company claims this is the first time an ASP has managed biometric authentication. Most companies have relied on their own hosting.

Biometrics is characteristics or behaviors that identify who you are. In this case that means verifying people’s identities using finger or face recognition.

eTrue makes TrueFace, which is a face recognition product that uses a web cam for computer security, access control, automated surveillance, database search, law enforcement and government fraud prevention. There is a downloadable demo at the eTrue website.

The field of biometrics is growing fast. According to figures compiled by the International Biometric Industry Association (IBIA), an industry lobby group, sales of biometric hardware will amount to $100m during 2000, and are expected to reach $600m by 2003.

The six technologies that are commercially available–finger, hand, eye, face, voice and signature–each have technical pros and cons, and are more suitable for some applications than others. Voice, face and signature all have the advantage that they can exploit existing infrastructure. Iris recognition is the most accurate, but the technology to locate the user’s eye, zoom in and extract information from the resulting video image is too expensive to be installed on every desktop PC.

Exodus’ job will be to provide eTrue with a secure hosting and distribution platform for eTrue’s new network and web logon services.

Exodus Security Services designed the data security system for eTrue, which includes encrypted transactions and redundant servers with multi-layered firewalls. Exodus manages its network infrastructure via a worldwide network of Internet Data Centers (IDCs) located in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Exodus global partners include Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, Oracle and Compaq Computers.

As an Exodus alliance partner, eTrue will refer customers to Exodus for Internet hosting services.

See related ASP News story on, ASPs Compare Body Parts, Oct 20th 2000.

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