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Volume 465: debated on Wednesday 24 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the most recent percentage failure rates are for biometric (a) fingerprint, (b) iris scan and (c) facial recognition data. (154998)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: In biometric systems, the term ‘failure’ can be defined in many different ways depending on the specific application. As a result, it is difficult to give a definitive answer to a question such as this.

For instance, in a fully automated biometric access control application it may be preferable to configure the system such that there is a possibility of occasionally allowing access to some unauthorised individuals (false match) than to risk rejecting those who are entitled to it (false non-match).