Fingerprinting is a special application of watermarking that applies specifically to information that is embedded about the creator of the work or the recipient. Fingerprinting has the characteristics of one object that distinguish it from another, very similar object. The real-world use of digital fingerprinting enables owners to trace authorized users distributing their material illegally. It can also be used as a means of high-speed searching.
Coded particles of explosives
Prefixes of e-mail addresses
PGP public keys
Digital audio or video
Mark: A portion of an object with a set of several possible states
Fingerprint: A collection of marks
Distributor: An authorized provider of fingerprinted objects
Authorized user: An individual who is authorized to gain access to a fingerprinted object
Attacker: Someone who gains unauthorized access to fingerprinted objects
Traitor: An authorized user who distributes fingerprinted objects illegally
Labeling: Where embedded data contains information of interest, such as a unique identifier
Physical fingerprinting is where an object has characteristics that can be used to differentiate it from something else.
Digital fingerprinting is a fingerprint in a form that a computer can process.
Perfect fingerprinting is any alteration that makes the fingerprint unrecognizable.
Statistical fingerprinting allows an examiner to compare fingerprint alterations to confidently determine that a compromised user has been identified.
Threshold fingerprinting allows for a certain number of illegal uses, but when that number is reached or passed, it identifies it as an illegal copy.
Recognition: Human fingerprints.
Deletion: A portion of the original object is deleted.
Addition: A new portion is added to the original object.
Modification: A deliberate change to some portion of the object is made for identification.
Discrete: The fingerprint has a finite hash value.
Continuous: The fingerprint has an infinite value, a human fingerprint.