Biometric identification solutions have become firmly established in our everyday lives, whether at security checks at airports or through facial recognition on smartphones – and the next generation is already waiting. DNA-based processes not only ensure precise identification of individuals, but also raise data protection to a completely new level.
For a long time, DNA-based methods were reserved for forensic work, such as the unequivocal identification of disaster victims or the determination of degrees of relationship. As technology advances, however, the latest generation of solutions for establishing identity is also becoming increasingly suitable for use in public service.
This is a development with major advantages, because for citizens, proof of their own identity is the key to state benefits, education and mobility – at least in theory. In practice, many people around the world still do not have a legal identity that can be verified by a birth certificate or passport, for example. This is where the full potential of unalterable and unique DNA comes into play, which can unambiguously identify people in cases of doubt. The new generation of DNA-based methods offers far-reaching advances in this area.
Speed meets DNA technology
DNA-based personal identification is not a new invention – forensics practitioners have been using this method since the 1980s – but highly automated processes have only been available for a few years. With the latest technology, certified “Rapid DNA Technology”, solutions can generate DNA profiles (DNA IDs) anywhere and within a very short time using mobile devices and fully automated processes. These processes do not require any special technical or scientific knowledge and ensure lossless data generation.
A DNA ID card created in this way offers numerous advantages over conventional biometric identification methods such as fingerprints or iris recognition. Because the stored information is enclosed and protected directly in the nucleus of the human cell, the DNA-based solution ensures lifelong immutability and rules out tampering.
Furthermore, with regard to data protection, a DNA ID offers an unrivaled level of anonymity. The information stored in forensic or civil databases is purely numerical and does not reveal any information about a person’s ethnic origin, appearance, or health status. Nonetheless, the information is unique and unchangeable – unlike fingerprints, iris scans, or facial shapes, which can change over the course of a person’s lifetime or can be manipulated through surgery. For these reasons, DNA ID is now considered the safest and most reliable method of biometric identification, containing even less personal data than a passport photo, for example.
Simple, fast, safe
With new automated technological processes, rapid DNA identification is easier than ever. It can be applied mobile on-site, directly at the locations of authorities or even in remote regions, without the need for a laboratory. The only requirements for DNA-based identification are the appropriate samples and the mobile device. With a current processing time of less than two hours, the new methods work faster than ever. Once created, DNA IDs can be securely registered and stored in government-controlled databases, with no outside access.