It was probably not a long time ago that you used your thumb impression to either unlock your phone or open a door, or perhaps entered the premises of your office. The technology is so common now that it is no longer about the convenience of the lazy person, but a necessity to save time and manage workflows efficiently.
Biometric technology has wide-ranging applications, from personal to business use, improving processes and providing a solid security layer.
Let’s look at a few use cases of biometric technology.
Biometric Identification in Schools and Businesses
In schools and offices, it is becoming a standard practice to use thumb impressions to get access through entrance and exits. Through biometric verification, institutes can make their premises more secure. It also serves as an attendance mark ensuring that the person actually attended that day.
This is in contrast to traditional methods of proving presence, such as swiping and card or entering login details manually. Since biometric measurements are unique to each individual, these are less easy to steal or copy, therefore providing reliable and authentic results.
Biometric Identification online
Moving on from physical premises to permitting online access, companies can give their employees access to online portals or even remote desktops through verifying the identity of workers online. This can take many forms. For example, employees might be required to show their face to the camera to get verified by the company’s software before giving them access.
Others might require showing a specific handwritten or printed note to the camera authorizing the personnel. This is known as consent verification that verifies customers and their transactions in real-time. The person on the other end may be required to take a selfie and write a unique message (either printed or hand-written) – also called a Handwritten Note.
Additionally, a Predefined Template is given to the user, who is required to take a selfie with a specific document such as passport, employee card or health card).
The Perils of Biometric Solutions
Well, there are hardly any perils if everyone uses such solutions ethically but there are certain associated issues. For example, there is a huge amount of biometric data being collected about people. Many are calling data as the new goldmine. Additionally, this data is more sensitive since it provides a frictionless road to authentication by most software and businesses.
The case for biometrics is strong but tech experts are working both ways. A growing number of cybercriminals and fraudsters are set to leverage new technologies to exploit the way unique characteristics are used. Concerns about privacy and data protection are becoming real as far as sharing biometric data is concerned. Sharing pictures with companies that have control over user data and specialize in image manipulation is becoming risky in itself.
Companies collecting and storing biometric data in the form of facial traits, fingerprints, or voice patterns are multiplying. Now, the use of biometric authentication is not limited to smartphones but has expanded to other industries such as travel, healthcare, and law enforcement. Some people regard this commercial use of personal data as a threat to civil liberties.
Valuable customer or employee information can be extracted and stolen by hackers and sold for millions of dollars providing undue access to personal accounts. In most cases, this also leads to a loss of reputation in addition to financial losses.
A specific case in point of misuse of data is of deepfakes. Using general adversarial networks (GAN), bad actors are altering videos and creating risks of misinformation and fraud. This combination of AI and fake videos uses deep learning techniques and is increasingly hard to detect. With increased use and advancement of AI biometric technologies, this risk is also expected to expand and impact societies at large.
Therefore, there is growing evidence to prove that the responsible use of biometrics is what needs to be administered next. Simply relying on ease of use and convenience afforded by biometric solutions is not enough. A solution must be provided for potential threats to connected technologies in the form of strict regulations and controls on commercial data use.