Business Transformation

The Pros and Cons of Biometrics

The use of biometric technology has grown popular over the years, and it’s not surprising why. ExpressVPN’s summary indicates that biometrics is often used to measure and analyze human characteristics and features. These features include fingerprints, irises, and facial features to identify and unlock accounts. 

Because they’re unique and can gain access to various accounts, biometrics are often considered high-profiled and such an attractive target for hackers. Usually, biometric technology can be found in airports, hospitals, and banks to identify people. 

If you’re deciding whether to adopt the use of biometrics in your home or on your devices, we’ve got you covered. Here, we look at some of the pros and cons of biometric technology: 

Pros:

  1. High-security assurance
    Because biometrics rely on fingerprints, irises, and other unique human features, they can be a better option than passwords for protecting accounts. When paired with other forms of multi-factor authentication (MFA), you can also add another layer of security that is more difficult for others to hack. Because biometric authentication generally requires a living, breathing human to be present, it can be pretty tricky for AI or other forms of technology to spoof. Most times, biometric authentication can work even in low-light conditions.
  2. Easy to use
    Biometric technology is straightforward to use. While they’re primarily found in high-security spots, like airports, hospitals, and similar, everyday items like smartphones, tablets, and laptops utilize biometrics. Both Android and iOS devices use different forms of biometric technology, such as fingerprint and facial scanning, which means users no longer have to type out a passcode to access their phones. Some financial and messaging apps, too, use biometric technology to allow users to gain access instead of typing out their passwords.  This makes the user experience surrounding biometric technology so much more appealing.
  3. Easy to integrate
    Many software applications use biometrics, and because it’s available for use across multiple platforms, it’s relatively easy to secure your accounts in just one tap. Those with smart homes will also appreciate how easy it is to integrate biometrics into several IoT devices at home.
  4. Difficult to fake
    As mentioned earlier, biometric technology is relatively hard to fake and spoof. While not impossible, facial patterns, irises, and fingerprints are difficult to replicate and could take more effort than necessary.  While some phones can be unlocked with photos, consumer technology companies can prevent this by improving their technology in general. For example, most smartphones use 2D facial recognition scanning technology. Still, in the future, more smartphones might adopt 3D facial recognition instead to make it even harder for hackers to spoof things. 

Cons: 

  1. Data breaches
    Just like other forms of data, biometric technology is precious. As many companies now rely on biometrics and store data surrounding it, it’s possible that they then become targets for malicious third parties. Another thing to consider is that biometric data cannot be replaced. Once the hackers gain access to something, it will be challenging to get them out, unlike simply resetting a password.
  2. Users’ privacy
    While it’s mostly secure, biometrics are anything but anonymous. Unlike passwords, you’re literally at risk of having your identity known. When paired with other information about you, hackers could build a fake online identity about you. Biometrics could also be converted into data and sold by companies for a quick buck.
  3. Costs
    To maintain and sustain a strong security profile, companies will have to spend significant money to ensure software and hardware are up to date. Beyond companies, biometric security can also be expensive for personal use. Prices for biometric access control systems like electronic doors and installation could cost upwards of 2,500 U.S. dollars.
  4. It might not always be accurate.While biometric systems are generally accurate, there could still be issues when logging into anything. Some smartphone users have reported that it’s difficult for them to unlock their phones when there’s a bit of dirt on their fingers which can be annoying, while others have claimed that wearing glasses has prevented them from unlocking their phones. Biometric technology isn’t always perfect.

Like most other forms of technology that use and store data, a lot is at stake regarding security. Through technological advancements in the future, there’s a possibility that biometric technology can improve in terms of safety, but this also means that there’s a likelihood negative aspects of the technology could come forth as well. 


Have you read?
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How to Set Your Wealth Goals by Ty J. Young.
Why the secret to winning strategy is simple by Rosie Yeo.
Weighing up your options – the art of decision making by Kerry Swan.

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Anna Papadopoulos
Anna Papadopoulos is a senior money, wealth, and asset management reporter at CEOWORLD magazine, covering consumer issues, investing and financial communities + author of the CEOWORLD magazine newsletter, writing about money with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. You can follow CEOWORLD magazine on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or connect on LinkedIn for musings on money, wealth, asset management, millionaires, and billionaires. Email her at info@ceoworld.biz.