Using physical and behavioural characteristics in security to authenticate identity dates back to the first signature used on a bank cheque, and since then, progress has been significant. New technologies like biometrics are increasingly used across industries, with facial recognition and fingerprint sensors becoming the new trusted gatekeepers of our age.
The appeal of biometric technology comes from its inherent clarity, speed, ease of use and functionality, mixed with a small hint of Bond‐esque gadget appeal. The spread to consumer products like laptops and smartphones, with biometric technology inbuilt, has served to deepen the widespread comfort in biometrics as a reliable form of security. There’s also an understanding of how unique features such as a face or a fingerprint can provide an infinitely more complex key to protect access with, than any combination of letters, numbers and symbols.
Yet, with the impressive functionalities that biometrics provides, it is essential to cast a thought to how the associated data is being stored and what the risks involved are in opting for fingerprint‐only authentication. The idea of opening a smartphone with one’s face is impressive, but facial recognition as a security measure has its own downfalls.
A well‐known hacker proved the fallibility of fingerprint authentication recently by using a print left on the screen of the newly released iPhone 5S screen to bypass the authentication request. This scenario is not uncommon. The ability to use a high-resolution image of a hand to collect fingerprints in order to use as access authentication has been previously documented. Biometric recognition also poses a potential pitfall thanks to the personal, unique form of authentication, one which cannot be lost, replaced/reset or disassociated from its owner.
As more and more banks and retailers start to use biometric recognition as a form of identification to perform everyday functions such as authenticating payments

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