Housing agency likes mice

BioLink's U-Match mouse

At the Chicago Housing Authority, there's a mouse in the house. The nation's third-largest public housing authority is swapping network passwords for biometric mice that scan users' fingerprints.

Users formerly had to type in multiple identifications and passwords, assistant CIO Bryan Land said. 'People were always calling, saying they forgot their passwords,' he said. Plus, it cost $300 to $500 per user per year to manage the passwords.

In April, the agency began phasing in the U-Match mouse from BioLink Technologies International Inc. of Miramar, Fla. A built-in scanner on the mouse's side extracts minutiae, the 30 to 50 characteristic points of a fingerprint.

The authority's network stores the fingerprint data on a BioLink Authenteon enterprise server, which runs proprietary software for the print matches.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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