biometric screening eye

Biometrics Are the New 4-Digit PIN

Biometrics and facial recognition are surging in usage and streamlining the way people access everything from buildings to bank accounts to, now, checking your suitcase at the airport. Delta airlines just announced that it is greenlighting facial recognition technologies at self-service bag drops at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport – the first biometric-based bag drop in the U.S.

The machines will be equipped to test facial recognition technology to match customers with their passport photos through identification verification. The airline says the launch is the step in its efforts to streamline airport processes, much as it did when it introduced RFID tracking so passengers can track their luggage on the airline’s mobile app.

The travel industry isn’t the only one experiencing a revolution with advanced technologies. Real estate is experimenting with everything from fingerprint readers to eye scans. FST Biometrics has been on the leading edge of biometrics in real estate, installing sophisticated scanners that authenticate users by everything from their voice to their stride to their face. Biometrics adds a necessary layer of security for particularly sensitive properties, like health care or manufacturing facilities.

For mobile users, fingerprint readers are an essential layer of security, helping users avoid remembering countless passwords. Deloitte Global and the Wall Street Journal predict, “not only that the active base of devices equipped with fingerprint readers will top 1 billion for the first time in early 2017, but also that each active sensor will be used an average of 30 times a day, for a total of more than 10 trillion aggregate fingerprint readings globally over the year.”

Beyond fingerprints, banker Wells Fargo allows customers to authenticate their identity using face- and voice-recognition or an eye scan to access the company’s mobile app. EyeVerify’s Eyeprint ID essentially lets the user take a selfie, then generates a digital record of the eyeprint using the microfeatures in and around the eye. No worries about bloodshot eyes or makeup – those don’t change the vein pattern in your eye, and the software uses multiple algorithms to decisively confirm a match.

The technology is not without controversy, with concerns about high startup and installation costs, coupled with privacy and security worries. Biometric Update says five states are considering amending their state’s biometric laws after Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act that, as far back as 2008, instituted practices to “require organizations collecting biometric data to notify people about the practice before they begin to gather data, as well as provide an exact timeline for deleting the data.”

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