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Chapter one

INTRODUCTION 1. Background on Biometrics
Biometrics adoption remains unpopular in poor countries. However, numerous methods have demonstrated that the use of physical traits for identification purposes dates back to prehistoric times. In ancient Babylon, Assyria, China, and Japan, fingerprints were used to sign contracts (Taha & Norrozila, 2015).

In the 1890s, Alphonse Bertillon, a Paris police clerk and anthropologist, invented Bertillonage, a method of various body measurements. He based this theory on the claim that bones do not grow after the age of 20, hence measurements taken after that age should remain constant.

As a result, a 20-60 minute measurement process was used to detect criminals. The length, height, and breath of heads, fingers, limbs, and legs were measured and recorded by hand. It was a relatively fast and effective procedure at the time.

His approach was utilised by police until it failed since some people employed the same methods (“The German Biometric Strategy Platform Biometrics State of the Art, Industry Strategy Development, and Platform Conception Study,” 2009).

It was a relatively quick and efficient approach at the time, until two people had the same dimensions. Paris police turned to fingerprinting, which quickly became commonplace, and Bertillonage was forgotten.

Today, various biometric technologies are commonly used in criminal prosecution, identity management, and police records. Computer-based, automated recognition research began in the 1960s, with the first commercial use, a fingerprint application, occurring in 1968 (Dessimoz and Champod, 2008).

Biometrics is a growing field of technology that tries to identify, verify, or authenticate people based on unique traits in the human body. These aspects are physiological and behavioural traits that are unique to nature (Sapkal & Deshmukh, 2016).

Because traditional methods of identification, such as pins or passwords, are inherently inaccurate (Mahfouz, Mahmoud, & Eldin, 2017), biometric technologies are increasingly being embraced as a superior substitute for identity in organisations, government agencies, and so on (Sapkal & Deshmukh, 2016).
Biometrics are more enticing since they are intrinsically linked to an individual and are said to be more dependable, impossible to fake, lose, or falsify.

Governments and authorities desire stronger security solutions to defend borders, provide secure identification documents, and monitor public places (Breedt & Martin, 2004), hence governments have recently made significant attempts to use biometrics for citizen identification.

Many countries have national identification systems based on databases storing biometric information about its citizens. Examples include India’s AADHAR, the United States’ FBI IAFIS, the United Kingdom’s NDNAD, and the European Union’s EURODAC.

Biometrics encompasses a wide range of characteristics, including iris, hand, gaits, fingerprint, facial DNA, keystroke, and voice. Fingerprints are considered one of the greatest qualities to employ due to their considerable structural variances between individuals (De Luis-García et al. 2003).

As a result, it is the most frequently adopted technology due to its maturity and low cost.

Based on the foregoing, we have opted to use fingerprints as our primary biometric attribute in our platform’s central database.
1.b The Status of National Security in Nigeria

In recent years, there has been a more severe necessity for persons to be recognisable in response to security threats and to combat the growing problem of identity theft. The growing requirement to identify an individual has resulted in a significant increase in the deployment and use of biometric applications (The Irish Council for Bioethics, 2009).

Many countries, both developed and developing, have been affected by security challenges. Nigeria is no exception. In recent years, the country has had numerous security challenges as a result of the infamous group Boko Haram;

also, the government is struggling with high crime rates in various areas such as armed robbery, kidnapping, ritual killings, corruption, and so on. Several crimes remain unsolved due to insufficient evidence to identify the perpetrator.

This is despite the fact that numerous Nigerian organisations have biometric information on Nigerian citizens that can be utilised to solve some criminal problems as needed; however, the data is dispersed throughout different organisations, sitting inert and not being used to its full potential.

According to an INEC article, it acquired biometric information for over 68 million Nigerians during the 2015 general elections registration procedure alone (The Scoop, 2015), which included 10 fingerprint images, a facial image, and bio-data.

Furthermore, numerous commercial banks, acting on behalf of the CBN, collected millions of pieces of biometric information from Nigerians as part of the BVN operation. According to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS), about 20,833,635 bank clients have enrolled for the BVN (Udo, 2015).

The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) mandates that every active mobile phone number have an individual’s biometric data recorded to it. According to NCC figures, there were over 145 million active mobile phone lines in Nigeria as of June 2015 (Bolade).

If all of these biometrics are combined into a centralised database that eliminates redundancy, they can be used to address some of Nigeria’s security concerns and criminal problems.

1.c Aims and Objectives

The goal of this research is to create a framework for the nationwide integration of biometric information.

The following objectives combine to attain the goal:

1. Create a platform for capturing biometric data. 2. Create a centralised database for Nigerian nationals’ biometric information. 3. Implement security controls for system access.

1.d Scope and limitations.

The framework established from this study is intended for a unimodal biometric system, as fingerprints are unique, readily available, and easy to gather. According to Edgar (2006), fingerprinting is the most reliable and practicable means of identification.

Its advantages over traditional approaches like as branding, tattoos, distinguishing attire, photography, and body measurements (Bertillon system) has been shown numerous times.

While many examples of misidentification have occurred with these older techniques, no two individuals’ fingerprints have been discovered to be identical. This model does not have a framework for policies that govern its use.

I expect that such a system will be controlled and deployed by the appropriate government bodies. Theft and social engineering ways of gaining unauthorised access are not considered.

The framework will account soft biometric factors such as age, gender, and ethnicity.

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