Breath Biometrics

Just breathe! Unusual biometrics based on odor

A friend referred me to this report. I heard of human breath monitored for detecting diseases like cancer. It is certainly welcomed a lot.

I wouldn’t be surprised if someone tries to use breath monitoring for the purpose of identification of people for whom no other biometrics methods work due to burns, injuries, etc. I would not see a big problem in it provided the vendors are transparent on the empirical (not theoretical) false acceptance rates and false rejection rates.

However, hearing that those people talk about ‘identity authentication’ (as against ‘individual identification’), I would have to wonder if they are sane or not.

Why and how? — You could refer to the posts on biometrics collected here — Biometrics Unravelled | password-dependent password-killer

Well, ‘identification’ is to give an answer to the question of “Who are they?”, whereas ‘authentication’ is to give the answer to the question of “Are they the persons who claim to be?” Authentication and identification belong to totally different categories.

The answer for the former can only be given somewhere in between very probable and very improbable, whereas the answer for the latter should be given conclusively ‘Yes, accept’ or ‘No, reject’. Mixing the two up and we will see a disastrous confusion among the public.

Digital identity blogs collected at

Website —



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Hitoshi Kokumai

Hitoshi Kokumai

Advocate of ‘Identity Assurance by Our Own Volition and Memory’, Inventor of Expanded Password System and Founder of Mnemonic Identity Solutions Limited in UK.