Is Biometrics ID Security Good?

United Airlines this week announced that it would start rolling the biometric prescreening including Houston George Bush Intercontinental and Newark Liberty International of Clear out. The machine works by verifying eye scan or a flier’s fingerprints.

Clear can be obtained at about 60 locations across america. It provides a system that uses biometrics to rate travelers into ahead of TSA Pre-Check, and the front of the security lane fliers.

United Airlines joins in supplying the service to fliers Delta Airlines — at participating arenas and stadiums that need an ID check for entrance and Clear’s technology is. Clear is one of many companies to start developing the screening technologies, and airports have been struggling with how do deal with rival but systems.

There are 53 biometric systems used by the aviation industry, and by businesses, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. Most do not see eye-to-eye, in.

Getting of the systems to work is one of the challenges that screening companies will have to manage in the future to make this technology embraced as an alternative for identification.

History of Biometrics

It’s easy to think as being a marvel of the century of technologies that can recognize a fingerprint, but its origins go back to the century’s end. Fingerprints were cataloged by anthropologist Juan Vucetich in 1891, and that helped Inspector Eduardo Alvarez identify Francisca Rojas as the killer of her two sons.

Then there’s the story of William and Will West — two guys who were unrelated yet almost identical. Will West was convicted of a offense, while William West was serving a life sentence for murder, although each served a prison sentence at Leavenworth Penitentiary. The prison had no means of telling the guys but then turned into a technology — fingerprint identification.

That system was sufficient to differentiate individuals. Given that the West guys looked similar, something else was needed.

Bertillon made a breakthrough in the development as it happened. As the fingerprints of each individual are unique, it was sufficient to ascertain which West was that!

Advances in Biometrics

In the century since Bertillon developed technology that was dactyloscopic there have been a number of improvements that can scan the retina of an individual. Additionally, there have been great strides in recognition also.

Facial recognition scanning and both fingerprints have been adopted as a means. Supporters of the technology have indicated they provide a degree of safety.

“Simplicity in data security isn’t always great,” she told TechNewsWorld. “The fingerprints and face are constantly with you. You won’t overlook them as a password, but you can’t change them ,” Galloway added.

Biometric Advantages

The benefits of using biometrics — such as facial recognition, iris scans or fingerprints — to manage access to devices and applications comprise reliable and quick access to data tied to a person, in addition to large precision, implied the Russo of Tulane.

Biometrics forgotten or as a password can not be lost, and businesses don’t need to handle the flood of changes that were , while passwords could be relegated to a secondary alternative. Biometrics can used as part of a multifactor authentication procedure, and they are able to replace other devices which may be stolen or lost and cards.

The latter”contributes to tens of thousands of episodes of lost identification annually as people attempt to handle the ID along with their luggage, and after TSA procedures,” Russo told TechNewsWorld.

There’s also the fact, and the convenience factor that no sort of password is perfect.

“Expect using biometrics to grow at an increasing rate going forward, and this is for a lot of reasons, including convenience to the consumer, lower price for your business to scale and handle, and also a relatively frictionless user experience,” he added.

“Once users have selected their kind of biometric authentication, there isn’t any typing on tiny keyboards, no telephone calls, and nobody leaves home with no hands or face — only relatively fast and effortless access,” Russo noted.

The opposite side of the issue is the fact that technologies could be used for nefarious reasons, and one of privacy. That’s the reason a blanket ban has been instituted by the city government of San Francisco . California became the first state to consider a ban of face recognition technologies this week.

Assembly Bill 1215 has proposed a ban on facial recognition software in police body cameras because of privacy concerns. Similar concerns are being echoed concerning the use of fingerprints as a process of identification.

Travelers who see the advantages with the very clear or screening systems that are similar might want to take into account whether the cons may outweigh the pros.

“Though it can shave a couple of minutes off of traveling times, we would recommend that travellers spend the extra few minutes in line to keep sovereignty over their personal data,” stated Sean McGrath, privacy advocate at ProPrivacy.

“Both private businesses (United and Clear) and the authorities have proven again and again, they can not be trusted to keep this information secure,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Another concern is that after a eye or fingerprint scan is from the system it is not easy to get it.

“As traveling authorities change from using conventional technologies to biometrics, travelers are having less of a state of how their biometric information is used,” McGrath added.

Is It a Great System?

There’s another issue and that’s the reliability of biometrics. Faces change with gain or weight loss, and people do seem age. Fingerprints, while unique to people, do have similarities. And what about burns or cuts to a finger — is it such a system for identification?

The higher the threshold, the more false-negatives potential; the lower, the are possible.

“In serious associations, biometrics have to be combined with other user verification tools, by way of instance, eye and finger and password,” said Galloway.

“Biometrics isn’t a’perfect’ way of identifying users of systems and applications; like anything involved with safety there’s a balance between too much security and too little security,” explained Russo. Dial the percent down and get security that is poorer and false positives. This is compared to passwords, which can be 100 percent games or not.”

Protecting the Biometrics

The consideration in biometrics is if this advice can be protected. In 2015 the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was murdered and private information of over 5 million people — such as fingerprints — was endangered.

“The biggest threat is the impossibility to change your biometric information,” cautioned Galloway.

“Hacks and leaks have occurred and will exist. There are no perfect systems; the biometric information used in our time is not a secret,” she added.

“If your password is hacked, you can always make a new one, but if biometric information is stolen you could not realistically change your fingerprints, face or irises, so that data can be used to try to fool devices and permit unauthorized access,” explained Russo.

When it’s shielded, the question comes back to some of functions.

“Biometric data really does bring with it an extra barrier to security that you will need to actively utilize the data to account for variations in the nature of pertinent information,” said Whyte.

About the author