Online Transaction Security Comes Closer

Online transaction security received a boost this week with the announcement of a new software programme that uses biometrics to identify shoppers.

The system enables computers to recognise exactly how the cardholder signs their name. It works by analysing the range of movement when the user moves the mouse to write their signature.

Developed by Ross Everitt and Dr Peter McOwan at the department of computer science at Queen Mary, University of London, the software is intended to be used in conjunction with standard password-based security systems.

“Our systems builds on already familiar user skills, typing and mouse movements, and we find that users can reliably reproduce complex mouse-based signatures,” says Dr McOwan.

Biometrics has been developed to help identify an individual by the iris, retina, fingerprints, facial features or voice pattern. It was widely touted two years ago as the panacea to personal security issues, but endured slow take-up due to its expensive R&D cycle and public concern over privacy issues. The team at Queen Mary believe the non-invasive solution could be used to reassure nervous consumers concerned about using their credit cards online, and are currently in the process of patenting the technology.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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