A Key to Your Heart: Biometric Authentication Based on ECG Signals


Nikita Samarin, University of California, Berkeley; Donald Sannella, University of Edinburgh


In recent years, there has been a shift of interest towards the field of biometric authentication, which proves the identity of the user using their biological characteristics. We explore a novel biometric based on the electrical activity of the human heart in the form of electrocardiogram (ECG) signals. In order to explore the stability of ECG as a biometric, we collect data from 55 participants over two sessions with a period of 4 months in between. We also use a consumer-grade ECG monitor that is more affordable and usable than a medical-grade counterpart. Using a standard approach to evaluate our classifier, we obtain error rates of 2.4% for data collected within one session and 9.7% for data collected across two sessions. The experimental results suggest that ECG signals collected using a consumer-grade monitor can be successfully used for user authentication.

    author = {Samarin, Nikita and Sannella, Donald},
    title = {{A Key to Your Heart: Biometric Authentication Based on ECG Signals}},
    booktitle = {Who Are You?! Adventures in Authentication Workshop},
    year = {2019},
    series = {WAY~'19},
    pages = {1--6},
    address = {Santa Clara, California, USA},
    month = aug,
    publisher = {}
} % No publisher