Thoughts On Biometric Authentication

I’ve been wanting to write down some thoughts on biometric authentication for a while. It’s becoming more popular and prevalent in the technology we use everyday. And before we actually learn what is good and bad about it from experience, I wanted to write down my opinions.

First, let start with a definition;

Biometric authentication is a process used in security and surveillance to identify a person by a unique trait. Biometric identifiers include fingerprint, face recognition, iris scanning, DNA, and various other unique identifiers.

The Good

Biometric authentication provides every person a way to have a truly unique password that you don’t have to remember. Using a fingerprint as a password is something that no one else can replicate. No one will have the same fingerprint as you, it’s unique. It also something you will always have. Your fingerprint doesn’t change, you don’t need to remember what it looks like.

Convenience is also a big advantage. Biometric authentication can seem instant when you are using technology. Being able to open your laptop and it automatically logs you in because it recognizes your face. Not having to type in 20 different passwords everytime you go online. Being able to pay with the touch of a fingerprint, and not typing in a username and password.

The Bad

A password you can’t reset. Your fingerprint is part of you. If someone finds a way to copy your fingerprint, you can’t reset it. You can’t create a new fingerprint. You can just no longer use your fingerprint as a password.

The same password for everything. The idea of a single point of failure comes to mind with biometric authentication. If your fingerprint is your password for everything, once someone has figured out how to copy it, they have access to everything.

You can’t encrypt your face. If you’re using your finger, face, eye, or other form of biometric authentication there is no way to hide your password. It’s open to the public. You can’t encrypt your fingerprints so only you have access to them (unless maybe you wore gloves all the time).

What are your thoughts on biometric authentication. Good? Bad? Do you currently use it?

Links of Interest:

Biometrics Are Coming, Along With Serious Security Concerns – Wired

Types of Biometrics

4 Reasons Why Biometric Security Is The Way Forward

You Cannon Encrypt Your Face – The Atlantic

Biometrics – Wikipedia 

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