Biometric technology has become more and more incorporated into the daily life of many consumers. From fingerprint readers and facial recognition to airport body scanners and more, the technology is quickly becoming a security staple and is expected to continue growing even further in our personal and professional lives.
Even so, the technology and all that it entails remains partly an enigma; outside the tech space, many do not fully understand how biometric technology NITDA deploys 1,560 technology skills acquisition centres in Nigeria or how safe or reliable it is compared to other verification processes. Below, 13 tech industry experts from Forbes Technology Council share some critical details everyone should know about this rapidly increasing technology.
Members of Forbes Technology Council. Source: Forbes
1. Biometric is more than fingerprints.
When most people think of biometrics, they automatically think of fingerprints and retina scans. However, the tech goes far beyond that. Typing cadence, mouse movements and more are used to biometrically identify one online. Facial features, physical movements and more can be used for real world identification – for example, in a retail store. In terms of laws and regulations, it is still a nascent technology. – Vikram Joshi, pulsd.
2. It can provide advanced protection against fraud.
It’s great to have biometrics as a more modern, easy-to-use and reinforced method of verifying logins. The built-in technology in phones and computers today allows a generic combination of personal biometrics with simple consumer use. The added security provides peace of mind with a cutting-edge defense against fraud, identity theft and cybercrime. – Greg Fitzgerald, Sevco Security.
3. The tech will soon be able to analyze human reactions.
We’re only seeing the first phase of a biometrics revolution. The technology will improve at not only identifying us but also at analyzing our reactions to things – increases in our heart rate, pupil dilation and so on. In certain circumstances, this can be a good thing. But overall, we as a society are going to have to come together to define acceptable rules and boundaries for this technology. – Abhinai Sivastava, Mashgin Inc.
4. It can save time – and lives.
Biometric technology is important when facing disastrous situations, and is quite proficient for first responders. I think that municipalities and organizations universally would do well to invest in it. Increased competences during times of emergency are valuable for first responders, and implementing policies and technologies that improve procedures by minutes and even seconds might save lives. – Jabari Butler, Healing Community Center.
5. Biometric may eradicate the need for carrying forms of payment.
Biometric identification is on the verge of becoming mainstream. Whether it’s fingerprints, facial patterns or voice cadence, these identifiers will lead to smoother and more intuitive customer and user experiences in our everyday lives. Soon, it may even be possible to shop without any form of payment; all you’ll need to complete a financial transaction is yourself. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC.
6. Adaptation may become an issue.
Adaptation is the problem with all biometric technologies. Everyone wants something better than a password, but giving companies access to any kind of fingerprint, facial recognition or retina scan feels creepy and prevents 100% adoption in enterprise milieus. If people don’t use the product, it’s not useful in the end. Biometrics needs to fix its image with the public, not CTOs. – Tom Roberto, Core Technology Solutions.
7. Certain biometric features could be duplicated.
By definition, it is impossible to change a person’s biometric signatures. External biometric features such as fingerprints could be copied and published. As long as fingerprint scanners are vulnerable to fake fingers, I would be careful using those – especially as a public figure. Eventually, you’re running out of non-published fingerprints to unlock your phone. – Gerrit Rindermann, Lambs.
8. It’s not exempt to hacking.
Once digitally captured, biometric data will be targeted by hackers and breached. It is one thing to have to change a password, a credit card number or even a Social Security number. But we cannot change our fingerprints, retina and DNA. The public is not aware of the danger of losing control of one’s biometric data and how it may be used to attack their privacy. – Juliette Rizkallah, SailPoint.
9. Privacy regulations are deficient.
While security is enhanced for identity and access management via biometric technology, the public should be cautious about the risks of mismanagement. The current regulatory and privacy roadmap has been slow to consider and adapt to the widespread use of biometric technologies. Use beyond consumer-oriented applications such as mobile face ID or touch ID systems will require the regulatory framework to be firmed up. – Venkat Rangan, Clari Inc.
10. People’s conversations may be recorded without their knowledge.
Access security – such as access to a phone or a laptop using biometrics – is on the positive side of this technology. However, the negative part is access to recorded background conversations from voice-enabled biometric devices used in the algorithms to fine-tune the user experience of such devices. – Amanda Dorenberg, COMMB.
11. Scanning errors could lead to access issues.
It doesn’t work like it does in the movies – no one is going to cut off your hand or steal your eyeball to break into your PC. However, one problem is error rates. Subtle errors in scanning can leave an authorized employee locked out of important work. – Kevin Parikh, Avasant.
12. Training prejudice may affect its accuracy.
While biometric technology is here to stay, owing to inadequacies in design and accuracy, it is not entirely surefire. There have been cases in security and surveillance in which facial recognition technology has erroneously linked faces and names, leading to unwarranted arrests. Often datasets used to train AI systems are unrepresentative and biased, causing legal implications that include identity theft. – Sayandeb Banerjee, TheMathCompany.
13. It’s wise to reinforce it with other security measures.
You’ll want to fortify your ID methods to minimize the errors inherent in each. You can copy a person’s biometric scan – their fingerprint, facial photo and so on – when it passes between systems and resubmit it with future requests. Biometric markers also change over time, so they are not always reliable. Biometrics can be convenient as added layers of identification when granting access, but the technology needs to be secured. – Sarah McKenna, Sequentum Inc.
© Folajimi Anisulowo