Biometric, in short, is the automated recognition of a person by using unique physical characteristics, in most cases for security. We now use biometrics on a daily basis, sometimes even without knowing it. The oldest form of biometrics is fingerprinting, estimated to date as far back as 500 B.C. So, how are biometrics now used in 2022, and how can you protect your identity?
Identification and authentication are possibly the most popular uses for biometrics right now, and the number of people opting to use biometric login features is growing, according to Sky. The most significant advantage of biometric identification is that it cannot be stolen, lost, or forgotten like passwords or other security measures. In the past, biometrics was most commonly used for high-level criminal or civil identification, for example, for security at airports and border crossings.
Nowadays, you don’t need to be in law enforcement to avail of this technology, as we all use this form of identity authentication every day, from unlocking our phones with facial recognition to your Alexa voice recognition. Just as certain Apple devices use fingerprints and face IDs, credit cards are now being adapted with the same biometric technology, meaning you won’t need a pin. Rather, credit cards will have fingerprint sensors embedded in them.
Biometrics has gone from something we think of as a futuristic tech to a regular part of our daily routine. Like any technology, it comes with risks and the potential for security breaches. Unfortunately, biometric data can be hacked too. As biometric technology advances and becomes more sophisticated, so do the hackers. Deepfakes, for example, can be used by scammers to clone someone’s voice. ExpressVPN’s article on biometrics discusses in more detail the security risks associated with biometrics and how to best protect yourself, such as using multi-factor authentication, not just biometrics, for logging into accounts. With the use of biometrics, we are essentially a password in ourselves.
Laws are still catching up to this technology, so for now, we need to take steps ourselves to protect your biometric data. Just as we are vigilant to protect our passwords, banking information, and other personal information online, we need to guard our unique biometric physical markers.
The use of biometrics and our digital identities will only increase in the coming years, with an estimated 13.4% growth in the global biometrics industry over the next three years according to GlobeNewswire. Biometrics will continue to be used in more impressive ways in law enforcement and surveillance. It will be adopted more in healthcare, access management, banking, and of course, our digital world.
Digital identification and biometrics are an integral part of the growing digital economy. The blockchain, which was initially applied for cryptocurrency, is quickly changing the way we approach the technology and financial industries. One benefit is the ability to optimize data sharing and identification. Thanks to the use of biometrics for identity verification, the blockchain payment network is high-speed and inexpensive.
There has been some talk also about creating digital vaccine passports that would be available on smartphones. Reportedly, airlines and technology companies are working on digital passports that would use biometrics to make this form of identification convenient and secure.
We now live in a digital world and use our biometric data to authenticate our identity when working remotely, using banking and finance facilities, using our various forms of identification, and eCommerce.