Large customers need biometrics to be more convenient

Fingerprints still too unreliable for banks (MIS – Asia)

Still, organisations across multiple sectors are exploring the use of several types of biometric technologies. The Australian Passport Office last November issued a tender for new biometrics technologies.

The organisation has been using facial recognition for its passport production process since 2005.

In 2012, ANZ Bank said it was exploring using fingerprint recognition technology to replace traditional PIN codes.

Parker said there an interesting discussion under way now about how secure a transaction has to be and how much organisations and consumers are you willing to pay for a certain level of security.

“If you’re protecting the front door or the control panel of a nuclear arsenal, you probably want to spend a lot of money on security to make sure it’s top grade and nobody can get through it.

It looks like people are starting to come to grips with the “compared to what?” and “perfect vs. good” arguments we’ve been making here for a while now.

We’d also suggest a revised headline for the article linked above: “Fingerprints not Convenient Enough for Large Customers.” We’d agree with that one.

As it stands now, biometrics algorithm developers and large system vendors aren’t really finding much success at supporting customers for whom ID management isn’t their primary business. And nearly all organizations for whom ID management is their primary business are government entities. This goes some distance toward explaining why the private market for biometrics has been slow to develop.

It’s also the challenge we have built SecurLinx to meet. In this example, banks aren’t in the ID business; they’re in the money business, but they do have to get ID right — or at least predictably wrong — in order to do their job. Magnetic stripes, sixteen digit numbers and passwords aren’t great, but they are predictable. They are convenient at an affordable cost.

Biometrics companies must deliver solutions to customers that can add security and at least come close to the convenience of the systems they seek to replace.

Biometrics necessary in the secure 21st century workplace (Mass Live)

With major defense, technology and financial services industries, Massachusetts has lots of secrets to keep. The state led the country in technology licenses in 2012. Between 2008 and 2012, patents granted to Massachusetts companies and individuals rose 37 percent — a rate second only to California.

As criminal enterprises become more technologically sophisticated, so must corporate security measures. Increasingly, companies are turning to biometrics — facial and voice recognition, iris scans, finger and palm prints. The days of the photo ID name badge are gone.

More on the UK’s new Identity Assurance Approah

Identity, Privacy and Trust: How I learned to stop worrying and love identity assurance (Computer Weekly)

The past week has seen a surge in media coverage of the government’s new Identity Assurance (IDA) programme, as the Department for Work & Pensions prepares to announce the first group of Identity Providers (IDPs) to be awarded services under their procurement framework. Those who know me will be aware that I played a minor role in trying to persuade the last government to change it’s plans for ID Cards, and that I became known as an opponent to that scheme; but for the past two years I’ve been engaged by the Post Office to support the shaping activities around the the development of the Identity Assurance programme.

So what persuaded me that IDA is a good idea?

Read the whole thing.

Implications of Ubiquitous Biometric Technology

A couple of good articles discussing the implications of ubiquitous biometric technology are out today…

Does rise of biometrics mean a future without anonymity? (Contra Costa Times)

“There are multiple benefits to society in using this form of identification,” said Anil Jain, a Michigan State University computer science and engineering professor, adding the technologies could prove “transformative.”

With face recognition, for example, “in 10 years the technology is going to be so good you can identify people in public places very easily,” said Joseph Atick, a face-recognition innovator and co-founder of the trade group International Biometrics & Identification Association. But misusing it could result in “a world that is worse than a big-brother state,” he warned, adding, “society is just beginning to catch up to what the consequence of this is.”

Businesses to use facial recognition (The Advocate)

Imagine arriving at a hotel to be greeted by name, because a computer has analyzed your appearance as you approached the front door.

Or a salesman who IDs you and uses a psychological profile to nudge you to pay more for a car.

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