Butt Identification

Here's a new biometric: how you sit:

...researchers there developed a system that can recognize a person by the backside when the person takes a seat. The system performs a precise measurement of the person's posterior, its contours and the way the person applies pressure on the seat. The developers say that in lab tests, the system was able to recognize people with 98 percent accuracy.

Posted on December 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM • 48 Comments

Comments

Spaceman SpiffDecember 28, 2011 11:58 AM

98% accuracy, until they either get implants or a prosthesis, or just do a butt crunch.

JohnDecember 28, 2011 12:54 PM

Why not just go all the way. Salvador Dali claimed the anus ware more unique then any fingerprint.

jacobDecember 28, 2011 1:09 PM

@john. yea, researchers are looking at all kinds of ways to identify people. I am just waiting. What else could they put on a fingerprint reader????

Human beings are unique from each other in many ways. Measure the blood vessels on the back of the hand. We could come up with all kinds of things to measure. (leaving too easy joke out of it, please). Ear lobe hair? People get paid to come up with studies after all. They could photograph Bruce's or my hairloss. It would be unique. Measure his aura, I'm sure it glows with superhuman intensity..encrypted of course. LOL

KKDecember 28, 2011 1:09 PM

BF Skinner: What does butt identification have to do with *any* of the Kardashians? I really am trying to get the joke, but I'm completely missing it. :/

jacobDecember 28, 2011 1:16 PM

@KK I think the reference is to big butts. Don't look up Kim and bikini. I warned you. Really, sorry.

On topic, what about someone losing weight or gaining weight, or working out?
It seems they really should stick to measures that don't change very often. A woman may gain a little weight during certain times of month, would that throw it off? Just random thoughts...

kashmarekDecember 28, 2011 1:23 PM

Butt, butt...

They need to do a before and after of the butts on Biggest Loser and determine if 98% accuracy is still valid (I really doubt such numbers). All just more FUD.

danggDecember 28, 2011 2:05 PM

Did you hear the one about Kim getting stopped by TSA?

they lifted her skirt and found 40 pounds of bad crack....

sorry couldn't resist it

Dave C.December 28, 2011 2:20 PM

Why not insist people have to undergo a full body biometric scan, while naked, before giving people access to sensitive information. This would surely decrease the error rate.

Clive RobinsonDecember 28, 2011 3:32 PM

@ Spaceman Spliff,

"... until they either get implants or a prosthesis..."

Or get some loony to inject their a55 with brick dust and emergency tire inflation foam for 500 bucks...

Seriously, if you go back a few "friday squid" pages you will find a link I posted to an article on the woman...

On a more serious note, I wonder if having a "bomb up your tail pipe" would have a significant effect on your "Butt Identification"?

If it does then we need not worry any more about the. TSA giving out free PR / prostate checks.

kashmarekDecember 28, 2011 3:47 PM

It only works on Japanese butts...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/12/27/japanese_bum_id_recognizer/

I was wondering how they were going to deal with the nationality of the butt. You can't deal with something that you don't have a baseline for (or is that buttline?) That is why we can't catch most terrorists, since we are without their photographs, fingerprints, iris scans, dental records, ear lobe scans, voiceprints, DNA, walking gait, and of course, their butt prints and brain scans. None of these "data capture techniques" are being applied to terrorists, only to the average U.S. citizen.

LauraDecember 28, 2011 5:22 PM

The first application is for a car anti-theft device, so you probably just need to go to the dealership to have it recalibrated every time you gain or lose 5 pounds. Or buy a new winter coat. Pregnant women can schedule periodic visits to the mechanic the same way they do prenatal exams.

And of course, if you put it off too long, you can just call for roadside assistance and explain that you can't get your car started, so you need to have someone come out and measure your butt. What could be simpler than that?

kashmarekDecember 28, 2011 8:48 PM

@figureitout...

At first, I thought you said politicians, not dogs. But then, that is how it works for politicians as well.

Gray GhostDecember 28, 2011 10:04 PM

The statistical anal-ysis is good, butt this security thratre really smells like crap.

The biometric coding is full of fat and the encryption algorithm will soon be cracked.

tongue_in_cheeksDecember 28, 2011 10:19 PM

If the TSA implements this technology, what else is there left for them to grab/fondle/poke/prod/tease/molest??

Godel FishbreathDecember 29, 2011 12:15 AM

And if someone gets a leg hurt and sits differently because of that, then their car will not recognize them?

miwDecember 29, 2011 2:39 AM

Seems pretty useless as a security tool, but makes great sense as a personalisation tool to adjust the ever increasing number of electronic settings in the car.

Clive RobinsonDecember 29, 2011 4:27 AM

@ Steve,

Bruce: you should start now on your next book"Applied Proctography"

The technology to do photography via rigid sigmoidography is fairly well established, certainly long enough to have had several generations of diagnostic tools for cancers and other lower GI diseases well documented and analysed.

The real question is not "can it be done" but the next step of applying it to identifing individuals singley or from populations and with what reliability. Thus it then becomes the question of what are the false positive and false negative rates achievable seperatly and in conjunction.

One of the major Achilles Heels of nearly every bio-metric is that the working trade off between the two is compleatly crap even on quite moderate population sizes.

Further more recent studies have shown that contrary to what many biometric manufactures claim it is not actually that dificult to back-engineer a bio-metric so that "ID-Shoping" becomes possible.

Which begs the question of the security of the likes of Facebook, which arguably has the worlds largest database of photographs of identified individuals (all be it by "crowd-sourcing"). If you have access to the database and appropriate facial recognition software you can get a list of names of people who are regarded as being the same as you within the tolerances of a target system. Taking the name and the photograph and applying simple searches will usually provide the information of where to locate an individual by their home or work address. Thus getting other bio-metrics becomes easily possible for a patient individual with moderate resources.

The more "outlandish" the bio-metric generaly sounds (butt, gait, stance, ear, hand shape etc) the easier it is to obtain and the less likely the target individual is to know it has been recorded without their consent. Even getting the forensic "gold standards" of DNA and fingerprints is not that difficult with a little planning and preperation.

There used to be the joke of "Whatever the question is, the answer is not Microsoft" I feel that when it comes to authz/n issues "the answer is not biometrics".

bobDecember 29, 2011 6:43 AM

I am interested in the sample set that they got 98% of. Were they all 20-25 yo Japanese male engineers who sleep in capsules?

I bet if we throw some Innuit and Polynesians and Germans into the mix; liberally sprinkled with 60 yos and 16 yos and females the accuracy would drop to more like 30%.

kingsnakeDecember 29, 2011 7:46 AM

Penises are also unique, and the TSA already gets a close up view of those when you go through the scanner ...

jacobDecember 29, 2011 8:01 AM

@clive
"The more "outlandish" the bio-metric generaly sounds (butt, gait, stance, ear, hand shape etc) the easier it is to obtain and the less likely the target individual is to know it has been recorded without their consent. Even getting the forensic "gold standards" of DNA and fingerprints is not that difficult with a little planning and preperation."

@kingsnake
"Penises are also unique, and the TSA already gets a close up view of those when you go through the scanner ..."

clive, and kingsnake. disagree. Most people would remember and be a little cautious. Sticking your member on a fingerprint reader? Except for some hollywood types and others on internet>>
Might as well. I agree the bandwagon jumping on the biometric measure is getting carried away. Information leak and poor security will lead to ever more measures of authentication. It will not end.

It is fed by the business community trying to monetize everything, gadgets that promise more and more, and the capacity of technology to lower costs, public officials scared to death something might happen, and the intelligence agencies just wanting more information.

For security, TSA, and the flying public? Just get it over with. Drug everyone (knock them out), strip them naked and stack them like cordwood on the plane...
Sad but it just may happen. We are already having Homeland Security doing mobile checkpooints. "let me see your papers, walk through the voyeur cam, let us molest your children and feel up your wife"...And if you protest, well it will get ugly....Just SAD.

boogDecember 29, 2011 10:25 AM

Does this mean that as I try to establish a good routine of exercise and a healthier diet, I will begin to lose my identity?

echowitDecember 29, 2011 10:33 AM

@kashmarek:

"...their butt prints and brain scans..."

-1 These tests are probably redundant in many cases.

@Steve lockstep

"You cynics should pull your heads out of your biometrics."

+1 L(aughed)OL

"This is the sort of innovation that makes Facial Recognition look good."

-1 Again, tests are probably redundant.

Avg score: 0

@Gray Ghost

"The statistical anal-ysis is good, butt --"

+1 L(aughed)OL

"-- this security thratre really smells like crap."

-1 Recursive, security theater IS crap.

Avg score: 0

BTW, the above is an attempt at humo(u)r at the posters' expense. Sorry! They're good posts actually.

Gray GhostDecember 29, 2011 2:10 PM

Mr. Doe took his Seat
And Scanned his Butt like Meat
Reader Smelling Grossness
Analysis just Hopeless
Confused me with Excrete

Gray GhostDecember 29, 2011 2:26 PM

Mr. Doe took his Seat
And Scanned his Butt like Meat
Reader Smelling Grossness
Analysis just Hopeless
Confused Doe with Excrete

- Autocorrect my a..

Rob StylesDecember 31, 2011 3:16 AM

If only this has been the cool new research a few years ago, rather than iris recognition.

It would have made Minority Report a very different film!

rob

DavidJanuary 2, 2012 3:01 PM

@:Steve_lockstep:

"You cynics should pull your heads out of your biometrics. This is the sort of innovation that makes Facial Recognition look good."

Surely you meant 'Faecal Recognition!'

EricJanuary 3, 2012 8:29 AM

Edmond Locard wrote about butt prints in the early part of the 20th century (I was reading some of his books last week). According to Locard, some investigators in the 1920s believed they could identify whether butt/bed prints were of a man or a woman (a claim Locard finds dubious...) Locard finds them interesting mainly as they relate to event reconstruction, not identification.

Leave a comment

Allowed HTML: <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre>

Photo of Bruce Schneier by Per Ervland.

Schneier on Security is a personal website. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Co3 Systems, Inc..