What are the top uses of biometrics?
Source: William Pao, a&s International
Biometrics are the “who you are” factor in identity management. More and more, they are implemented in end user entities from airports to banks for security and non-security purposes.
“Biometric identification management systems offer higher security, convenience, accountability, and accurate audit trails – all attributes that motivate businesses to research and implement the technology for their own use. We believe that as time moves forward, we will see implementation of biometric technology continue to grow and be used in even more areas that touch our lives,” said a recent post
According to the post, contrary to the popular belief that biometrics are mostly for government entities, more and more public and private end user organizations have adopted them. “Many businesses consider biometrics to be applicable for government use only but they are quickly learning that the applications of biometrics extend far beyond the government use exclusively,” it said.
So what are the top uses of biometrics? M2SYS listed some of them which are summarized as follows.
According to the post, making passengers’ journeys in airports
as seamless as possible has become key for operators, and this is where biometrics can help. “In many airports, the top biometric modality
choice for immigration control is iris recognition. In order to use iris recognition, travelers are first enrolled by having a photo of their iris and face captured by a camera. Then, their unique details are stored in an international database for fast, accurate identification at ports of entry and exit that use iris recognition for traveler identity verification,” M2SYS said. “Biometrics simplifies the airport experience for millions of passengers travelling every day. Use of the technology also ensures the highest level of security and safety.
Time and attendance
Citing an American Payroll Association study, M2SYS mentions that the average employee reportedly steals approximately 4 and a half hours per week, which is equivalent to 6 weeks’ vacation if extrapolated over a year. To solve this issue, companies are implementing biometric time clocks on their work sites, it said.
“The most common biometric features used for employee identification are faces
, finger veins, palm veins, irises, and voice patterns. When an employee attempts identification by their biological traits, a biometric hardware device compares the new scan to all available templates in order to find an exact match,” the post said.
According to the post, organizations like the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and Interpol have been using biometrics in criminal investigations for years. “Today, biometrics is widely used by law enforcement agencies across the world for the identification of criminals,” it said. “Biometrics is also widely used for jail and prison management. They provides a modern solution by which jail authorities, public safety departments and governments can safely and securely manage prisoner identities.”
Access control and single sign on (SSO)
Traditional access control and SSO methods, such as key cards and passwords, are no longer sufficient, the post said. “Passwords only provide evidence or proof of knowledge whereas biometrics provides unique advantages because it relies on identifying someone by ‘who they are’ compared to ‘what you know’ or ‘what you have,’” it said.
According to the post, biometrics in banking has increased a great deal in the last few years and is being implemented by banks throughout the world. “As global financial entities become more digitally-based, banks are implementing biometric technology to improve customer and employee identity management in an effort to combat fraud, increase transaction security, and enhance customer convenience,” it said. “More and more customers are looking for banks that have biometric authentication in place, prompting banks to more closely research the technology for implementation.”