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Uniqueness of fingerprints?

Uniqueness of fingerprints?

Posted Apr 6, 2008 11:32 UTC (Sun) by man_ls (guest, #15091)
In reply to: Uniqueness of fingerprints? by ayeomans
Parent article: Biometrics for identification

Hmmm... doesn't the principle behind the Birthday paradox apply here? Even if there are 366 days in a year, the probability of two people having the same birthday reach 0.5 with a group of only 23 people. Therefore you would only need roughly the square root of the number of possibilities to find a collision.

With 120 bits you are still safe, since the world population is about 2^32. But the security factor is not as high as it would seem. Surely we don't expect all values to be as likely, as with birthdays; if they tend to cluster around certain values (some kinds of fingerprint configurations are more probable than others) then collisions become increasingly likely.

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