For enhanced convenience, Windows® 7 enables administrators and users to use fingerprint biometric devices to log on to computers, grant elevation privileges through User Account Control (UAC), and perform basic management of the fingerprint devices. Administrators can manage fingerprint biometric devices in Group Policy settings by enabling, limiting, or blocking their use.
What’s new in biometrics?
A growing number of computers, particularly portable computers, include embedded fingerprint readers. Fingerprint readers can be used for identification and authentication of users in Windows. Until now, there has been no standard support for biometric devices or for biometric-enabled applications in Windows. Computer manufacturers had to provide software to support biometric devices in their products. This made it more difficult for users to use the devices and administrators to manage the use of biometric devices.
Windows 7 includes the Windows Biometric Framework that exposes fingerprint readers and other biometric devices to higher-level applications in a uniform way, and offers a consistent user experience for discovering and launching fingerprint applications. It does this by providing the following:
- A Biometric Devices Control Panel item that allows users to control the availability of biometric devices and whether they can be used to log on to a local computer or domain.
- Device Manager support for managing drivers for biometric devices.
- Credential provider support to enable and configure the use of biometric data to log on to a local computer and perform UAC elevation.
- Group Policy settings to enable, disable, or limit the use of biometric data for a local computer or domain. Group Policy settings can also prevent installation of biometric device driver software or force the biometric device driver software to be uninstalled.
- Biometric device driver software available from Windows Update.