As has slowly been emerging since 1994 into biometric

 As society grows and starts to become more
technologically advanced, more techniques of solving crime with advanced technology
are discovered and soon after put into practice. Not only can we solve crime
with fingerprints and behavioral characteristics such as gait, voice, signature
and odor, but we can also solve crime with the use of iris recognition. There are both disadvantages and advantages to using iris
recognition, but before getting into these, one must first understand what
exactly the iris recognition is. Iris recognition is a biometric identification
method of identifying individuals based on their iris patterns. It has slowly
been emerging since 1994 into biometric technology as an alternate means to do
the same job as fingerprinting. Throughout this paper, I will go into quite
a bit of detail on exactly what the iris recognition system is, while explaining
the development of the iris and what exactly the iris’s functions are for the
eye. Throughout this paper I will also answer the following list of questions:
are there any changes to the iris between birth and adulthood or even after
death, how does the iris recognition system operate and what countries, if any,
are currently exercising the use of the iris recognition system, is the iris recognition system reliable and do contacts
and glasses cause an error in the system in any way, can iris recognition
be applied to an iris after death, and finally, what are the advantages and
disadvantages to using the iris recognition system.

First,
one may be wondering what the function of the iris is in the eye. The iris is the purely visible colored ring-shaped
membrane behind the cornea made wholly of pigments, connective tissues and smooth
muscle fibers. The iris begins to form in the third month of development in
the womb. The pigments of the iris are made up of melanin, the same pigment
that gives skin its color; and thus, the same pigment that gives the eye its
color. Ultimately, the amount of pigment in the iris is what determines the
color of the eye. The more pigment quantity, the darker the eye and vice versa.
If there is no pigment in the eye what-so-ever, there will also be no color in
the eye; if this is the case then they would be classified as the pink eyes of
albinisms. Very little pigment in the eye gives the eye a blue color and then
in increasing amounts of pigment in the eye gives one eye colors in the
following order: green, hazel, and finally brown. Another
function that the iris does is it controls the quantity of light that reaches
the retina. The iris has an adjustable round opening in the center that is
called a pupil and the iris is responsible for controlling the diameter and
size of that pupil. The pupil and iris work as one to normalize the amount of
light that go in the eye. The amount of light allowed into the eye is important
because too much or not enough light in the eye can muddle with the individuals
vision. In order to regulate the amount of light entering the eye, the iris
moves to capsize the pupil if there is too much light entering the eye or it
moves to enlarge the pupil if there is not enough light entering the eye. This
function is involuntarily controlled by the brain which explains why the iris
is inimitable in every individual. Not one human will have an alike iris from
one person to the next no matter what the case. This is still true even with
identical twins. The iris’s build up provides unique texture material different
for each eye even among the eyes of the same person. One may be thinking, well
I wear contacts, or I wear glasses, do these effect the iris recognition
system? Not all contacts and glasses effect the iris recognition imagery
system, but certain kinds of contacts and glasses can obscure the iris pattern.
Usually soft contact lenses are not likely to cause
problems, but colored contact lenses and glasses might create a glare or
somewhat barricade the iris. If the glare is large enough, identification of
the iris may not be possible, so it is more common for glasses to be removed
before the capture of the iris is possible. This is the best way to ensure a
high-equality image will be taken. Quite a bit of material has been covered
in this paragraph, so to tie this all together, no
two irises are alike. Not even with identical twins, or for the right and left
eye of an individual.  The amount of
information that can be collected in a single iris is much greater than the
data gathered from fingerprints, and the encountered recognition accurateness
of an iris is greater than that for deoxyribonucleic acid methods. Iris
recognition is a powerful tool that, if used the right way, can be used to find
any criminal.

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Next,
one may be wondering how the iris recognition system even works. Just like
facial characteristics, voice and fingerprints are used to identify a human
being; irises are too used to recognize a person. Irises are just as distinct
and maybe even more distinct than fingerprints. Like the above statement in the
previous paragraph said, the amount of information gathered from an iris is
much greater than the information gathered from fingerprints and deoxyribonucleic
acid methods. So, one might be wondering how might a human be identified by
using just the iris. First, realize that iris recognition does not require any interaction
between the individual and the capturing device, and imaging can be done at distances
of a little over a meter or less. Some cameras have even been confirmed taking
images at distances of about three meters and of individuals walking at a speed
of one meter per second.  Iris recognition typically requires the four steps that
follow: segmentation, normalization, feature extraction and recognition.
All four steps play a major vital portion in iris recognition, and if one step
is skipped, iris recognition could go wrong. The first step to iris recognition
is segmentation. In the first step the iris region in an eye image is localized
(the boundaries of the iris are set). The edges of the iris are distinguished
and separated from the eye image to create a “map” of the eye. The second step
of iris recognition is normalization. In this
second step, the iris regions that were distinguished in step one are
transformed through a whole lot of difficult math and math calculations so that
they have actual fixed dimensions. This permits comparison. Dimensional discrepancies
among eye images are usually because of the elongating of the iris caused by
pupil dilation from various levels of brightness. It may also occur because of
different imaging detachments, spinning of the camera, head tilting, and spinning
of the eye within the eye socket. The normalization process will yield iris
regions which have the similar constant dimensions, so that binary photographs
of the identical iris under different conditions will have characteristic
features at the same three-dimensional location.  Next for iris recognition, one has feature
extraction. In this step, information that can be used to is extracted
information that can be used to distinguish different subjects with the
creation of a template that represents the most discriminated features of the
iris (typically it uses texture information) Finally, the last step of iris
recognition is matching. In this step, the two iris representations are studies
and evaluated and eventually one of them is eliminated. To summarize how the
iris recognition system works, first one needs to remember that in order for
the iris recognition system to work, interaction does not have to occur.
Remember that the four steps to the system are segmentation, normalization,
feature extraction and matching. The steps occur in the order listed and if one
step is skipped, a glitch in the iris recognition system may occur.

Thirdly,
and most importantly, is the iris recognition system even reliable? Does it
reduce the amount of fraud or does it help keep crime numbers down or does it
help catch criminals and if any countries are currently even using it. Iris
recognition has limited forensic value because iris patterns are not left
behind at the scene unless the eyeball is left at the scene and even then, the
iris is not able to be used because a “dead” iris is not able to be ran through
the iris recognition pattern. Another reason limited forensic value comes from
iris recognition is because the availability of iris databases is small. Today,
very few countries use iris recognition. Only a few million digitized samples
of iris patterns exist today, and thus iris data has no legal or established
forensic status as admissible evidence in court. Iris recognition is widely
used in the United Arab Emirates. Every day there are seven billion iris
comparisons performed in a security deployment. This covers all twenty-seven airports,
border crossings, and seaports of entry into the United Arab Emirates. Arriving
passengers’ irises are compared against central data base of iris patterns.
This is done to reduce criminals from coming into the country. About nine
thousand irises are compared each day against eight-hundred thousand iris
patterns that are already in the central data base giving the number seven
billion two hundred thousand comparisons of irises a day that was stated above.
 The most promising aspect of the iris
recognition system is the that it is yet to make a false positive. Over
two-hundred billion iris comparisons have been made and not one has had a false
match. According to the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Interior, over the
past four and a half years, the iris recognition system has caught over fifty
thousand individuals trying to enter the United Aram Emirates under false
travel documents. This shows the uniqueness of iris patterns and how beneficial
iris recognition systems would be all around the world. So, to answer the
questions asked at the beginning of this paragraph…yes,
the iris recognition system is indeed reliable. Currently it has been widely
used in the United Arab Emirates to keep fraudulent people from entering the
country. It has reduced the amount of fraud and kept crime rates down. Yes, the
iris recognition system has limited forensic value, but it can be used to find
criminals, and this will keep crime from occurring again. 

Next,
one may ask, “is it possible to use the iris recognition system on an iris
after death?” If one thinks about it, the iris recognition
system needs to be able to “read” the iris to make a match as to who the iris
may belong to. For many
years, scientist have believed that in death, the iris, just like all muscles,
completely relaxes after death, the cornea clouds and this results in a fully
dilated pupil with no visible iris at all. The iris tissue degrades and begins
to decompose very rapidly. Scientist believed that a dead person simply does
not have a usable iris, or that after death, a person’s iris features will vanish
along with pupil’s dilation. But, believe it or not, recent
studies have shown that results that one may
expect close-to-perfect iris recognition a few hours after death. Occasionally,
in our tests, automatic iris recognition remained viable more than two weeks
after death. These findings
contradict a common belief that the iris decays soon after death. This has not
been proven yet, but something interesting to keep up-to-date on.

Finally, there are many advantages
and disadvantages to using the iris recognition system. It is up to you, the
reader to ultimately decide whether the system should be used. First, the
advantages to iris recognition will be discussed. Ultimately, the biggest
advantage to the iris recognition system is how accurate it is and its
reliability. Iris scanning is said to be ten times more accurate than
fingerprinting. Also, fingerprints are always exposed and liable to be damaged,
but the iris is protected by the cornea and its pattern remains unchanged for
decades. The last advantage is unlike fingerprint scanners that require direct
contact and must be kept clean, iris recognition scanners can work at distances
from the eye. Now, the shortcomings to the iris recognition system is the cost.
Also, privacy concerns have become a big concern. The fear that future
iris-scanning technology could be developed to track an individual at some
distances without that individual knowing or giving consent is widely
discussed. Another shortcoming is privacy and security. Even though the followers
of the iris recognition system claim that it makes computers and ATMs more
secure, opponents have emphasized the risks of criminals compromising iris
scanning security by using a person’s dead eyeballs. The last disadvantage to the iris recognition system
is the matter of hacking and data breaches. These two crimes are hypothetically
more dangerous if the stolen information is biometric. If fingerprints are
stolen, they can be used to access any other systems that use those stolen fingerprints.
Nothing can be done either, because fingerprints cannot be changed. On the
other hand, remember, biometrics do not store the actual biometric information.
Iris scans use encoded patterns derived from the iris, not the actual iris
itself. So, if the iris scan gets stolen, a possibility is to create a new iris
code for the same person

In
conclusion, one should now be aware of simply what
the function of the iris is in the eye, how the iris recognition system works,
the iris recognition system’s reliability, what countries are using the iris
recognition system and if it is possible to use the iris recognition system on
an iris after death. As a short summary, it can be said that the iris
recognition is a biometric identification method of identifying individuals
based on their iris patterns. It has slowly been emerging since 1994 into
biometric technology as an alternate means to do the same job as
fingerprinting. The iris is the purely visible colored ring-shaped membrane
behind the cornea made wholly of pigments, connective tissues and smooth muscle
fibers. Its two main functions are to determine the color of the eye and to
control the amount of light that reaches the retina. The more pigment the iris
contains, the darker the eye color, and the amount of light that enters the eye
is important to regulate because too much light can cause impaired vision. Usually
soft contact lenses are not likely to cause problems to the function of the
iris recognition system, but colored contact lenses and glasses might create a
glare or somewhat barricade the iris. If the glare is large enough,
identification of the iris may not be possible, so it is more common for
glasses to be removed before the capture of the iris is possible. This is the
best way to ensure a high-equality image will be taken. Iris recognition
typically requires the four steps that follow; segmentation, normalization,
feature extraction and recognition. All four steps are vital to complete the
iris recognition process successfully. If one step is missed or skipped, a
glitch in the iris recognition system may occur. yes, the iris recognition
system is indeed reliable. Currently the iris recognition system has been
widely used in the United Arab Emirates to keep fraudulent people from entering
the country. It has reduced the amount of fraud and kept crime rates down. Yes,
the iris recognition system has limited forensic value, but it can be used to
find criminals, and this will keep crime from occurring again. Every day there
are seven billion iris comparisons performed in a security deployment that
covers all twenty-seven border crossings, airports and seaports of entry into
the United Arab Emirates. Unlike fingerprinting, not one comparison has come back
with a false match, and in fact, a false iris comparison match is still yet to
exist. If one thinks about it, the iris recognition system needs to be able to
“read” the iris to make a match as to who the iris may belong to. For years
scientist have believed that in death, the iris, just like all muscles,
completely relaxes after death, the cornea clouds and this results in a fully
dilated pupil with no visible iris at all, but recent studies are being done
that may make this fact no longer valid. These recent studies have shown results that one may expect close-to-perfect iris
recognition a few hours after death. Occasionally, in our tests, automatic iris
recognition remains viable more than two weeks after death. This paper
has shown the uniqueness of iris patterns and how beneficial iris recognition
systems would be all around the world. They need to be considered more and
discussed on the use of them because they are more reliable than fingerprints.
Just imagine, if a world-wide iris database existed, think about how rapidly
the rate of crime would go down and how many fraudulent people would be caught
trying to enter countries they are not supposed to be entering. There are many
advantages and disadvantages to using the iris recognition system. Advantages
of the iris recognition system are accuracy, reliability, and require no direct
contact. Disadvantages of the iris recognition system are the costs, potential
hacking and breaching, and privacy and security concerns. It is up to you as
the reader to ultimately decide whether the system should be used in these
specific situations. Iris scans can be considered to be some of the most
accurate forms of biometrics known, and are far more superior to fingerprinting
due to the fact that all it requires to work is a simple and quick photograph
of the eye. So one might ask; why are iris scans not used all over the world?