As time goes by, we become increasingly dependent on our mobile devices, which puts their safety quite high on the list of our priorities. Passwords get cracked, PIN numbers guessed and locking patterns figured out, which means that the data stored on your phone is not nearly as safe as you think it is. Seeing as how most of us are constantly logged into our accounts on our mobile phones, almost all of our data is at stake if our phones get compromised. This is mostly why major phone manufacturers are currently investing in biometrics. But, how safe and foolproof is this approach? Let’s find out!
The issue of private information
The first major problem that a lot of people mention when it comes to biometrics as a safety measure is the issue of privacy. You see, you are not likely to tell anyone the PIN or CVV number of your credit card, nor are you likely to share a password to your Facebook account with a complete stranger. Sure, some of the information might get stolen, extorted or blurted out in public but in general, this is something very private and is most commonly treated as such.
On the other hand, you are bound to leave your fingerprints all over the place, which means that someone with a malicious intent has an easy way of acquiring them in order to break into your phone. The issue with the retinal scanner and iris recognition is an even scarier one, seeing as how there are some concerns that the device could be tricked by being shown an image of one’s face. Nonetheless, manufacturers tend to dismiss these concerns as unfounded.
The overall safety
Another thing that a lot of people fail to understand is that the technology itself isn’t enough to protect users. All the data gathered by these sensors have to go somewhere, and if the company that has all the information has no way of protecting it, you may have a serious problem. With this in mind, safety standards such as PCI DSS will still play a major role in determining the trustworthiness of the communication channel.
The next set of concerns regarding biometrics revolves around health-related issues, which can cause a wide array of troubles. Some skin diseases have been known to have a strong influence on the process of one’s fingerprint recognition, which might cause a small problem. Luckily, this method is usually not used as the only security method, and a person using the phone might be asked to type in the three-digits-long PIN or a password instead.
Far more serious are the accusations that the iris scanner can, allegedly, cause a mild discomfort with its users. These allegations even go as far as to mention serious dizziness and even pain after the first use. Since this technology rests heavily on infrared radiation, some experts even suggest that this method might damage one’s eyes. If proven to be true, these concerns might prove a serious obstacle to the idea of biometrics as a whole (at least for this approach).
While the above-listed problems may seem like something quite negative, one has to bear in mind that the scanner technology on such a level is, more or less, still in its infancy. Therefore, we could optimistically expect all of them to be fixed in the nearest future, although, it is quite improbable that they will be used as a stand-alone safety measure anytime soon. On the other hand, even when this technology reaches its peak, it is highly unlikely to expect that it will be 100 percent foolproof. To make the long story short, scanning technology is the future of customer privacy, although we can’t tell for sure when this future will arrive.
Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is currently working with some companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies. He is also a coauthor on several technology websites and a regular contributor to Technivorz.