April 22, 2024

Not too long ago, fingerprinting, iris scanning and facial recognition technology was only accessible to large enterprises with deep pockets and solid development teams. Today however, these technologies are within reach of smaller businesses and ambitious start-ups alike.

Privacy concerns regarding biometric data storage have curtailed its popularity; however, on-device solutions which offer continuous authentication using behavioral characteristics like typing patterns, mouse movements/clicks/walking gait can address this challenge effectively.


Authentication uses the unique traits of individuals to verify identity. Biometric systems are more secure than traditional passwords or PINs that could be compromised by attackers; however, biometric systems may fail to recognize individuals if they experience injuries that change physical or behavioral traits, for example if their fingers get burned on a stove or they lose the ability to speak due to stroke.

Biometric characteristics used for authentication are known as “something you have” or “inherence factors.” Individually unique inherence traits include fingerprints, facial features, iris patterns, heart rate, gait speed and gait length – these features can then be compared against an approved list in order to gain entry.

Other types of biometric systems can also be utilized for verification rather than identification. When implemented this way, individuals make an assertion about their identity by showing documents like an ID card or piece of paper and then matching that information against biometric identifiers like facial image and fingerprint analysis.

Many biometric technologies can be used for verification, and are usually less costly than alternative security measures like passwords and PINs. Furthermore, biometric verification provides a more seamless user experience as biometric scans can quickly be verified in real time, eliminating the need to wait to unlock devices or enter passwords manually.

Access Control

Biometric identification can be an efficient means of controlling access to sensitive systems, areas or services. A biometric ID system measures some physical aspect of an individual – such as fingerprints, hand shape, head structure or eye features – in order to verify whether they are an authorized individual trying to gain entry. This may involve matching them against one or more preexisting templates in an identity database in order to establish identity and grant access.

Biometric information such as facial images and fingerprints may be collected without consent if organizations don’t implement adequate cyber security practices, leading to serious privacy violations and leading to the loss of personal control over one’s own body. This data could then be sold or shared for tracking purposes which raises further privacy issues as well as lead to potential loss.

Though biometric technology offers many benefits, there can be some risks involved as well. Like any authentication method, biometrics may become compromised through malware, hacking or another attack. Furthermore, individuals may find it hard to provide meaningful consent or exercise control over how their biometric data is being used; for instance, if required to use one as part of their job duties – say airport iris recognition or Siri’s voice biometric identification of users – they may feel reluctant to participate fully.


Biometric verification methods offer much stronger protection than information-based verification methods like passwords and PINs, such as passwords or PINs. Physical biometrics like fingerprints or an iris scan are difficult to steal; their data resides with you and cannot fall into the wrong hands. Plus, biometric authentication is both fast and convenient; simply swipe your thumb or look into your phone camera to gain access to apps, websites or services requiring identity verification.

However, typing or entering information onto traditional computers or smartphones takes considerable time and requires multiple keystrokes – taking much more than it needs to. Given our increased reliance on mobile devices – including work related ones – for everyday tasks and identification needs it becomes evident that we require faster yet more secure forms of identification.

As biometric technology develops, we can expect more widespread implementation of biometric authentication systems in workplaces, retail stores and the “sharing economy”, where people rent out homes or apartments for extra income. One such example is LG V30’s two-step authentication system using voice and facial recognition as well as heart rate sensor.

While biometric technologies offer security and convenience benefits, they also raise privacy issues. Therefore, when proposing new biometric initiatives to both government and private-sector organizations it’s crucial to take into account any associated privacy implications and conduct a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) to ensure they comply with Canadian privacy law.


Privacy concerns around biometric technology can be an ongoing source of anxiety for many. This is particularly the case when biometric technologies involve scanning private body features or facial features of individuals without their knowledge or consent; any scan could potentially be used by someone to identify them without permission or knowledge from those scanned.

As part of an overall approach to privacy protection, biometric data should not be widely shared and protocols put in place when necessary for its use. Furthermore, systems should include transparent complaints and enquiry processes as well as internal and external avenues of redress.

Verifying or authenticating someone’s identity requires matching biometric data with what has already been stored in the system, a multi-step process which often requires biometric enrollment forms as well. Furthermore, enrollment into biometric systems often requires providing personal details like pictures or behavioral patterns to register.

One of the primary concerns with biometric data collection and storage is its association with other personal information, like credit card numbers, and its use for identity theft. To address this risk, an effective security architecture must be created that incorporates multi-factor authentication, encryption, and other protective measures. Furthermore, any organization collecting and processing biometric information should ensure they have an established record keeping policy in place.

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