All You Need to Know about Biometric Data: Is It Safe?
Biometric data is created after transforming life traits into biometric digits which can be in the form of fingerprints, pictures, or voice. With the help of biometric authentication, you can quickly identify a person’s name, age, gender, and citizenship.
• What is Biometrics?
• When Was Biometrics Invented?
• The Real History of Biometrics
• Identifying a Person Using Biometrics
• Who Can Benefit from Biometrics?
• How Secure is Your Biometric Data?
• Problems Related to Biometric Data Security
What is Biometrics?
Biometrics is the science to determine the physical and behavioral characteristics of any person. It helps you to check a person’s identity. There are two different types of Biometric authentication.
• Behavioral Measurements: It is the study to identity the underlying behavioral patterns of any person and involves many characteristics such as Iris or fingerprint patterns. When it comes to behavioral measurements, it verifies voice recognition, mouse usage, gait analysis, and other related cognitive biometrics.
• Physiological Measurements: It is the study to identity the unique features of a person. It involves various characteristics ranging from fingerprints, vein structure, the shape of the eye, and other morphological features.
When Was Biometrics Invented?
Biometric has helped several organizations in identifying a person’s identity. Going back many centuries, people already had a feeling that particular characteristics like fingerprints were enough to identify a person. Biometric proves a great relationship between technology and humans.
The Real History of Biometrics
• A Chinese emperor in the 2nd century was using fingerprints on a few specific seals
• Marcello Malpighi, an anatomy professor in the 16th century observed fingerprint ridges, loops, or spirals
• Bertillon in the 19th century took the first few steps when it comes to scientific policing. He leveraged certain anatomical characteristics and using similar measurements to charge criminals
• In 1901, UK’s Metropolitan Police first started using biometric identification
• New York City police started fingerprint identification in 1902 while the FBI initiated it in 1924
Identifying a Person Using Biometrics
To identify any person, there are three amazing ways to do it.
• Fingerprint, facial or hand recognition
• Name, any hidden secret, or password
• Personal document, badge, or a card
Besides badges and passwords, fingerprint or facial recognition are biometric recognition samples which cannot be erased completely.
Who Can Benefit from Biometrics?
Biometric authentication is widely used by the leading law enforcement authorities, border control police, healthcare organizations, and civil identity.
• Law Enforcement Agencies: From recognizing past criminals to tagging any person in the database, biometric identification is commonly used in law enforcement agencies. This huge biometric category might include palm prints for identification. These agencies store, extract, and search fingerprint images when need be.
• Border Control Police: E-passport is a renowned biometric application used globally by every border control police. Biometric identification can be easily done by matching your fingerprints with the ones on your passport. Biographic data is also used for individual identification.
• Healthcare Organizations: Some countries are launching personal health cards to older adults and specific people to identify a person’s identity liable to healthcare facilities. Biometric healthcare insurance card can be used in every clinic, hospital, or pharmacy to check whether you have social security rights or not.
• Civil Identity: The AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) is perfectly linked to a civil register database to check the real identity of a person. Also, it merges the fingerprint, iris scans, or personal pictures for seamless reliability.
How Secure is Your Biometric Data?
Biometric data of every person is safe as long as the system isn’t compromised or hacked. Besides data leakage, hackers won’t do much even if they have your biometric data. Security systems are not entirely safe but accessing biometric data can be difficult for an attacker to access. Here are the reasons why your biometric data is safe in the national database system.
• It requires tireless efforts to penetrate the security and access a person’s information
• Biometric data is segmented into a few code files by using visual cryptography
• Your data is distributed perfectly. One part of your personal data is on your device, while the other part is securely stored on servers
• Biometric data is not centralized which makes it challenging to check personal information
• Biometric data can also be used to integrate with various document security systems using continuous identification.
Problems related to Biometric Data Security
According to statistics, more than 50% of customers wish to completely replace passwords with biometric data. Biometric data is faster, convenient, reduces friction, and has a strong authentication. But still there are a few emerging security concerns with biometric data.
• Attackers can hack your biometric data and gain easy access to all your financial accounts. People became fascinated with Apple’s Touch ID but a popular hacker named Jan Krissler defeated the biometric technology right after the iPhone was released.
• Your biometric data is safe but differs from password security. Passwords are unique while fingerprints or voice recognition can be replicated. Fingerprints and voice are simple identifiers which hackers can use to access your biometric data.
• Biometric data reveals your personal identity and hackers might leverage it to alter financial documents or past criminal records.