Skip to main content

Generating Secret Keys from Biometric Body Impedance Measurement

Marc Roeschlin‚ Ivo Sluganovic‚ Ivan Martinovic and Kasper B. Rasmussen


Growing numbers of ubiquitous electronic devices and services motivate the need for effortless user authentication and identification. While biometrics are a natural means of achieving these goals, their use poses privacy risks, due mainly to the difficulty of preventing theft and abuse of biometric data. One way to minimize information leakage is to derive biometric keys from users' raw biometric measurements. Such keys can be used in subsequent security protocols and ensure that no sensitive biometric data needs to be transmitted or permanently stored. This paper is the first attempt to explore the use of human body impedance as a biometric trait for deriving secret keys. Building upon Randomized Biometric Templates as a key generation scheme, we devise a mechanism that supports consistent regeneration of unique keys from users' impedance measurements. The underlying set of biometric features are found using a feature learning technique based on Siamese networks. Compared to prior feature extraction methods, the proposed technique offers significantly improved recognition rates in the context of key generation. Besides computing experimental error rates, we tailor a known key guessing approach specifically to the used key generation scheme and assess security provided by the resulting keys. We give a very conservative estimate of the number of guesses an adversary must make to find a correct key. Results show that the proposed key generation approach produces keys comparable to those obtained by similar methods based on other biometrics.

Book Title
Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society‚ (WPES)