Biometric Identification revolutionizing the world in 2020

Biometric Identification revolutionizing the world in 2020

Every day we come face to face with new technology innovations that leave us awestruck. From the past few years, the world is witnessing technology change that is not only impacting the industries but also defining the new lines about how we communicate and interact with each other. One such technology bringing revolution is biometric technology. Biometrics is defined as the unique and intrinsic physical and biological characteristics of a person that verifies their identity.

The history of biometrics 

The concept of biometrics has been there for centuries, the only difference is in the advancement in their use. Back in the 19th century, Bertillon was the first one to use specific anatomical characteristics for the identification of reoffending criminals. This technique has proved to be quite successful for years, however, it was not much reliable that soon turned it into a thing of past.

Afterward, this budding use technology was reacquired by a British officer, William James, who was put in charge of road construction in Bengal. He made his subcontractors sign the contract through fingerprints –  the early and most common form of biometric authentication. This fueled up the use of biometrics in different industries and countries. In 1901, the UK Metropolitan Police started the use of biometric identification.

In 1902, the New York police and French police also followed their suit. Later in 1924, the FBI adopted biometrics for identification. Apart from fingerprints, the concept of behavioral biometrics – a measurement of unique patterns – isn’t new either. For instance, back in 1860s telegraph operators recognized each other through Morse code which means the distinguished pattern they would send dot and dash signals. 

Trends in Biometric Identification

Identifying individuals based on their unique physical, biological and behavioral characteristics is the fundamental principle of biometrics. The use of biometrics is rapidly growing especially in terms of security and customer experience. Every industry is now incorporating biometric technology for the successful growth of the business. Biometrics first started as fingerprint recognition which is still considered the most common and extensively adopted biometric identification method.

At first, fingerprint scanning was associated with the voting system but now for a few years, it has been promptly used by the organizations as user authentication systems. From offices to schools, the institutions use fingerprints for marking attendance and allowing access to authorized people only after identity authentication. This is just one use case, multiple others are already exploring business operation through biometrics. In 2013, when the iPhone introduced a fingerprint scanner, people found this feature a thing from the future and hence it gained popularity among other brands. 

Fast forward, fingerprint scanning isn’t the only form of biometric identification. In 2018, with the launch of ‘FaceID’ in iPhone X, using facial recognition technology, biometric authentication seems like a mandatory requirement of smartphones. This highlights the increasing trend of biometric identification and verification. The race isn’t about differentiating between different types of biometrics but to focus on the biometric adoption for better security and customer experience. 

As per the study by Spiceworks, 90% of businesses will be using biometrics by 2020. 

Biometrics and Identity –  Who you are?

Biometric identification is a fastly-growing phenomenon, particularly in the identity verification market. From a general perspective, biometrics are often combined with other technologies to gain competitive advantage, for instance, AI-powered biometric verification systems to confirm the user identity and facilitating organizations in curbing fraud and making the business secure and free of imposters.

The identity of an individual has been verified using three common factors that include

  1. Something you know, like a username and password, pin codes or some secret information.
  2. Something you have, for instance, a bike belongs to one who has its keys. In terms of technology, we can say a verification code or a one-time password.
  3. Something you are, means unique characteristics – a face, fingerprint, voice, iris, etc.  – of an individual.

From these three authentication ways, the first two are not secure and reliable. The reason is the technological advancements through which cybercriminals and fraudsters are finding ways to access and steal user credentials; for instance, phishing, social engineering, and brute force attacks. If the identification data is compromised, then how to ensure that the person on the other end is an authorized person, not some imposter.

However, in the case of biometrics, they can’t be stolen, forgotten, exchanged or forged that makes them accurate and secure to verify the identity of individuals. The biometric identification methods are evolving with time. The ‘old school’ identification and authentication methods are being replaced with voice recognition, retina scans, facial recognition, and fingerprint identifications.

Every method of biometric identification is unique and reliable depending on the utilization of emerging technologies. It won’t be an understatement to say that individual identification through biometrics is progressing at a commendable rate and soon can become a global standard.

Major use cases of Biometric identification

Biometric systems use physical characteristics to verify the identity of individuals. And these characteristics can be in any form from fingerprints to face biometrics. These biometric systems are being employed by multiple organizations across the globe. Initially, it was meant to facilitate law enforcement and government agencies such as the FBI and CIA to identify criminals and threats to national security. 

The digitization of the world is driving businesses to integrate biometric systems to survive the competition layer. Here are some significant use cases of biometric identification and verification.

Biometric Access Controls

Biometric access control systems are effective in keeping imposters and unauthorized individuals at a bay by preventing them from accessing a system, networks or some facilities through biometric authentication. In the world of technology, logical access control is accounted as a corresponding factor for user authentication. Moreover, these systems facilitate organizations in meeting ‘identity and access management’ policies.

Contrary to passwords, pin codes, and access cards that can be stolen, forgotten or compromised, biometric authentication is secure and reliable since it’s base on who you are instead of something you know or possess. Similar to the mobile industry, other companies have started using fingerprint scanning and facial recognition in their authentication systems.

An integral part of KYC

Know Your Customer (KYC) check is one of the obligations imposed on every business dealing with money whether a bank, money exchange or e-commerce. As per the KYC regulation, companies need to verify and authenticate the customer’s identity during the onboarding process and for conducting customer due diligence. This is a fundamental for combatting digital fraud, identity theft, financial crimes, and money laundering.

Integrating biometric identification checks, organizations can streamline the KYC process making it faster and more efficient. Moreover, the automated verification through biometrics makes the onboarding process frictionless hence, improving customer experience.

Multi-modal biometrics for security

Biometric technology comes with a wide range of practices and techniques that can easily penetrate into different domains including state security, identity verification, and customer convenience and experience. Multimodal biometrics are generally used in forensic identification and identity management sectors. The multimodal biometric systems combine various biometric sources such as fingerprints, iris, and face, for more accurate identification minimizing false positives and increasing security and customer convenience.

The way forward

Biometric adoption is on the rise; as per Global Market Insights, the global biometric market is expected to grow up to $50 billion by 2024. This figure provides a significant insight into the impact of biometrics on the industries. In the near future, to say biometric identification is going to be a global standard for customer verification won’t be wrong.

Biomerics in visa process reducing the travel difficulties

How biometrics in visa process reduce travel difficulties

Biometric technology is enhancing the travel industry in many ways.  Factors that drive the secure growth of business include customer experience and security and this technology is facilitating the travel industry to meet both factors without compromising any. Your picture is captured by security to face match with the records of various suspects in their database using facial recognition technology.

Biometric technology is being deployed to track down terrorists by detecting faces of every traveler. High technology security cameras installed with specific cameras are used to capture the images of people. These pictures will then be matched and compared with the faces of known suspects in the database containing data of high-risk entities. Police will be alerted when the system recognizes a known suspect who has a perfect face match with their records. 

An Intro to Biometric Technology

In 2016, the biometric market in the United States reached $3.52 billion and is expected to grow significantly in the coming decade.  For most countries, the primary goal behind the introduction of biometrics for foreign travel is to refrain criminal entities from entering their country. 

For example, in the United States, an advanced face recognition system is installed at the airport checkpoints to analyzes over 100 reference points for each person to ensure if people are who they say they are. Biometric technology is a desirable standard for dozens of countries to verify people crossing their borders. The biometric technology comprises many different types, including but not limited to these: 

  • Fingertip recognition: To identify the users their fingerprint structure is analyzed.
  • Iris recognition: The iris of the eye is analyzed for its pattern
  • Face recognition: Face recognition algorithms are used that map the face
  • Voice recognition: Voice authentication of a person is conducted 
  • Palm recognition: Hand geometry or the vein pattern is detected. 

Data storage of biometrics

Individual photos and fingerprints are stored in a secure database that is only accessible by authorized officers.  Biometric authentication systems compare the collection of biometric data with storage, authentic data in a database. 

Biometric Technology in Visa Process – An Insight

Biometric technology has become an integral part of visa processing. When you go for a visa application you will be asked to provide your biometrics along with the necessary documents. The representatives will collect these:

  • take a photo of your face with a digital camera
  • scan all 10 of your fingertips with a digital finger scanner

Applicants should know about biometrics and if they are under the age of 16 and incapable of understanding biometric collection they should have a parent or guardian with them. Some countries do not collect fingerprints of children under 5 years of age and only take their photos. Following are a few conditions to fulfill before giving your biometrics:

Face or fingerprints injuries must be healed first

You should wait if you have any injury on your face or finger until the injury has healed before providing biometrics. If anyone is missing a finger, the fingerprints of the remaining fingers are collected. At times you can not give fingerprints if you have any temporary decoration on your hands or fingers such as mehndi or tattoos. 

Applicants must remove glasses

Initiated since November 1st, 2016, a law was implemented according to which customers applying for a passport must remove glasses for their photo. Glasses were a major hurdle to identify a person from their photo. Many visa applications were put on hold and were delayed due to this problem.  So that is why people were asked to take off their glasses, in some cases even the religious head coverings, to get their photo in the visa application process.

Facial recognition technology fails at a time in rightly identifying a person if they have grown a beard or have glasses on so to avoid any such inconvenience people were asked to remove glasses as the applicant’s face must be clearly visible from forehead to the bottom of the chin. So you might have to remove your glasses and hand coverings   If you do:

  • your photo and fingerprints will be collected in private
  • you can ask to have them collected by someone of the same gender

Why Biometrics are Used for Visa Processing?

The Biometrics of people are used to identify them which helps to:

Protect  from identity fraud

Fake identities are a common threat these days. In 2018, 14 million identities were stolen in the United States, and more than 50% of these identities were used to defraud businesses and banks. Cheats use stolen or false identities to commit many crimes like money laundering, terrorist financing, drug trafficking, human trafficking, etc. Criminals use stolen, fake or synthetic identities to onboard. Face verification ensures that the person using the ID for verification is the original owner of the ID card and not an imposter. 

To make travel safer

Biometrics are used to make travel safe and secure. By authenticating every person at the time of visa application doubts related to their originality can be mitigated. Biometrics, a budding technology, is being used at every touchpoint of the journey to provide border services with greater security and to make traveling easier. 

To secure borders

An unprecedented number of people are on the move, and the numbers are rising up. So to secure our borders it is important to identify people who are migrating or traveling. Biometric technology using face verification and fingerprints is hard to be fooled and is widely used for authentication and security.

This technology works on identifying unique features of an individual that are difficult to duplicate, so it is hard to spoof such a technology. Due to this, it’s widely being adopted to fight back different types of frauds. Biometrics are checked with other international agencies to verify these:

  • Identity of a person
  • The criminal history of a person
  • Protection status of a person

Some groups of people think that this so-called innovative technology will compromise the privacy of people for the sake of security. However, despite a lot of backlash for this technology the authorities are strongly defending this innovation and state that the security of public places can’t be compromised under any circumstances.

Even with this reservation privacy activists have not shown any resistance in this and the technology is being used for providing a safe and secure travel experience. Biometric technology has enhanced the travel industry.

Uber joins lawsuits to exempt itself from California law

Uber joins lawsuits to exempt itself from California law

California law effective from today, i.e. Jan 1 is all set to give equal protection to independent contractors.

Uber, the ride-sharing company and Postmates, on-demand meal delivery service, filed a lawsuit on 30 December in U.S. Court Los Angeles, to block the California law that was supposed to give protection and wage to the independent contractors. 

The lawsuit argued that the new California law violates the federal and state constitutional obligations of equal protection benefits and due process. Moreover, Uber said that it will try to link this lawsuit to the other challenge filed by the association (representing photographers and freelance writers) in mid-December.

In November 2019, the first challenge to the law was filed by California Trucking Association on behalf of independent truckers.

This new law is coming up with the nation’s strict rules according to which the independent workers must be considered as employees and this can set an example for other states. Lydia Olson, the ride-share drive wrote about his concerns in a Facebook post cited by Uber

“This has thrown my life and the lives of more than a hundred thousand drivers into uncertainty,” 

Lorena Gonzalez – democratic assemblywoman of San Diego raised her concern that more than one million California workers lack primary benefits including minimum wage, paid sick leaves, medical expense coverage, mileage reimbursements, etc. and therefore, the employee rights must be extended.

When the lawmakers were trying to craft the law, uber has tried to exempt itself from the obliged entities claiming it would defend its labor model from legal challenges. Moreover, uber joined DoorDash and Lyft in a vow to spend $30 million each to upturn the law if they don’t win the case in 2020.

Gonzalez said in one of her statement

“The one clear thing we know about Uber is they will do anything to try to exempt themselves from state regulations that make us all safer and their driver employees self-sufficient. In the meantime, Uber chief executives will continue to become billionaires while too many of their drivers are forced to sleep in their cars.”

The lawsuit by Uber contends that the law exempts some industries and it meddles the worker’s right to choose how they make living hence, they can void their existing contracts.

 

Biometrics Bucking the Trend of KYP in Healthcare

Biometrics Bucking the Trend of KYP in Healthcare

Over the last few years, biometric technology is deeply entrenched in various commercial marketplaces and industries. Here in 2019, a breakthrough potential of biometrics ‘ practical application can be seen in a variety of vertical domains and markets. Among those, the healthcare sector is reforming the security standards and patients records through biometrics. According to MRFR (Market Research Future), the global biometrics healthcare market is expected to grow $5.6 Billion by 2022 i.e. CAGR of 22.3%.

This remarkable increase is as a result of demand for advanced devices and diagnosis methods in healthcare. Reason being, 2000+ data breaches that compromised the confidential medical information of thousands of patients. In April 2019, about 46 healthcare data breaches came onto the surface which shows a 48% increase in from previous month and over the past five years. To overcome these issues, biometrics are grazing the pastures of healthcare security systems. By introducing an additional security layer of a biometric authentication system, hospitals are ensuring authorized and controlled access to databases.

Biometrics technologies such as face recognition, fingerprint scanning, hand geometry, and iris/retina scanning have long-held promise to ensure patients and employee identification. Hospitals across the world are catching up with the benefits of this technology for the security of confidential medical records, medical insurances, and personal data against data breaches and identity thefts. The purpose of ‘Know Your Patient’ or KYP is well-served with biometrics.

Know Your Patient (KYP) is Easy with Biometrics

Biometrics are used to provide a seamless way for patient’s identification. It is crucially important to identify and verify the identity of patients. According to WHO (World Health Organization), accurate patient identification is among the nine priorities considered for improved patient safety. Before proceeding to medical prescription and procedures, clinicians are supposed to correctly identify the patient. 

Biometrics act as a patient’s identifier that helps identifies an identity if it is too ill to verify the identity. For this, a patient would first have to enroll in a biometric identification system. For this patients would have to prove the identity against insurance documents, medical certificates or government-issued identity documents. After identity registration, biometrics information will be stored that could be in the form of fingerprint scanning or face recognition (mostly). Hospital management will secure electronic medical records against that identity into the database. Once enrolled, identity will be verified at each stage of treatment in the hospital. 

Furthermore, patients identification helps doctors analyze medical history in an effective manner. Within seconds, biometrics are able to authenticate the identity and open up all the personal and medical details that can assist doctors better in treatment. Biometric service can be extended further for patients to view their electronic medical reports at home anytime by logging in to the hospital online portal and verifying identity in real-time through biometrics. 

Biometrics Use-Cases in Healthcare

Biometric technology is paving ways in the healthcare sector. The major concerns refer to patient data privacy and record security. In healthcare, the following are the top use-cases that can serve industry better with biometrics.

Securing Medical Data

A major threat in the medical industry. Due to the incidences of identity theft or unintentional personnel neglection while securing the health data of patients result in various issues. Biometric authentication helps secure the accounts and details of patients and staff by providing an additional security layer in which password leakage and so data tempering is thing of the past. 

Streamlining Patient Identification System

A hospital has to manage millions of health records, test results, medications, and diagnoses, etc. despite their effort of efficiently managing all paper records, 7-10% of patients get misidentified that even leave to deadly consequences. Biometrics such as facial recognition and fingerprint scanning software are contributing to dramatically reduce the record loss and theft. 

Reducing Health Insurance Fraud

Health insurance records and old-age medical benefits are sensitive data that need to be highly secured. Unauthorized access to confidential information can affect hospitals as well as the lives of patients badly. To mitigate the risk of unauthorized data access and insurance frauds, biometrics can help stand a security wall against fraudsters. By directly linking patients biometrics information with medical records, data can be secured.  

Restricting Pharmaceuticals’ Access in Hospitals

Pharmaceutical misuse and identity theft are a million-dollar problem in the healthcare industry. Identification of patients and providing them correct pharmaceuticals is crucially important. Biometrics assist in providing relevant medical details of identity against the patient’s name. In this way, controlled access to pharmaceuticals can be ensured in hospitals.

Protecting patients Identity in Online World

For secure virtual rooms for patients, it is important to take dynamic security measures to protect the identities of the patient in the digital world. Online security of digital patient identity should be protected to avoid fraudsters from misusing them against their malevolent purposes. Online security with passwords and PIN is not resourceful today. Fraudsters have ways to take out username and password information through credentials stuffing. Here biometrics come, that ensure authorised access to online accounts and could be login with biometric verification. Secondly, user experience remain intact with security.

Segmental Analysis of Healthcare Biometrics Market

Applications of biometrics in the healthcare industry are segmented into data security, patient identification (KYP), medical record management, and controlled access. Identity thieves steal identities from medical records that most of the time belong to children and elders. Their identities are used for performing several malicious actions that vary from cyberbullying to money laundering and criminal activities etc. The real identities of children specifically are used as they surely would not have been part of any criminal record. 

Moreover, some of the fraudsters dig out these identities and their financial aid records, medical insurance records, and fee-medical services certificates to avails benefits for free. 

Online hospital portals and medical stores operating online should also be well-aware of the associated risks. Cyberattacks can affect hundreds of patients and even their families. In addition to this, the patients’ record managed online is prone to cyberattacks and breach. Therefore, there is a dire need to take in place KYP practices that verify each onboarding identity first to deter the risks of unauthorized access to private data. 

Regional Analysis of Healthcare Biometrics Market

Based on the regional analysis on the use and need of biometrics technology, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.

North America: North America region accounts for the largest healthcare biometrics market share probably due to the demand for regulatory obligations and well-established hospitals. There are some other influentials factors that include a wide uptake of digitization into medical sectors by introducing biometrics and medical insurance progression in the industry. Along with this, the demand for medical applications and software coupled with electronic medical records and efficient maintenance are contributing to regional growth and advancements. 

Region of the United States is advancing in patients’ identity verification solutions and identification along with data security and management. With these initiatives, the region is expected to grow more in the coming years.  

Europe: Leading at the second position being a lucrative market with respect to healthcare biometrics. Healthcare facilities in Europe are driving the healthcare biometric market to grow. Additionally, the investments in medical record management, especially in the field of the healthcare sector, is fueling the growth of biometrics and technological adoption in the region.  

Asia Pacific: The healthcare biometrics market is growing rapidly in the Asia Pacific region. Technological advancements and their adoption in this region are outlining the landscape of the market in this region. Furthermore, India, China, and APAC are also expecting to grow with respect to initiatives in the healthcare industry by introducing biometrics for efficient patients’ records management and identification. 

Conclusion

Biometric identification in the healthcare sector is streamlining the functions and procedures of health data management and consistency in records. Authorized access is contributing to the security of data against identity theft and data breaches. Additionally, biometric verification provides a seamless user experience along with security. This is the reason that its adaption in various fields is praised. In the coming years, most of the medical norms will be seen greasing the wheel with biometrics.

Comparitech Report Ranks Biometric Data Use: China Tops the List

Comparitech Report Ranks Biometric Data Use: China Tops the List

Comparitech, a pro-consumer technology website, conducted a study including 50 countries and their use of biometric data. The study ranks China at the top for its extensive and invasive use of biometric data. 

Malaysia and Pakistan came in second and third while the countries rated best at protecting the biometric data were Ireland and Portugal. The biometric data includes fingerprint scans, facial recognition, iris recognition, palm prints, DNA and other methods of identification or access control. 

The Comparitech report, released last week, revolved around the collection, use, and storage of biometric data. The study used a 25-point system to calculate its predominance of biometric usage in areas such as passports, banks, voting systems, identity cards, etc. The study also analyzed whether there were laws in place to protect biometric data of the citizens. 

The Comparitech report, released last week, revolved around the collection, use, and storage of biometric data.

(Source: Comparitech)

According to the method of the study, the higher the score, of a country the more comprehensive and invasive a country’s use of biometric data is. China came at the top with 24 points, losing just one point for its absence of a biometric voting system.

Malaysia and Pakistan each scored 21, while the United States came in at 20 points. Contrary to this, Ireland and Portugal had the lowest scores of 11 points which were followed by Britain, Romania, and Cyprus which all scored 12 points each. 

China had maximum points across the categories except for the voting systems mainly because the voting system of China is already heavily controlled. The report focused on China’s extensive nationwide biometric database, which according to Comparitech was being extended to include DNA.

According to the study, there is a lack of a specific law in China to protect citizen’s biometric data. Biometric usage has expanded exponentially in China which is affecting people’s daily lives. Fingerprint scans or facial recognition are employed to pay bills, apply for social security and even for loans. There is also limited protection against abusive use of data or privacy leaks.

Amazon sued over illegal

Amazon Sued Over Illegal Storage of Employee Biometric Data

Lawyers from the firm of McGuire Law P.C. of Chicago filed a class action complaint on November 15, against Amazon Web Services (AWS) accusing AWS of violating the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (BIPA).  

This lawsuit is the latest in a series of BIPA violation suits filed against major enterprises across the state of Illinois. The act aims to defend the individual from having their biometric data recorded, saved, or used without their signed consent. 

The lawsuit specifically targets the storage provided by AWS on its server network for employers and other “commercial customers” who have scanned and captured so-called biometric data from employees, customers, and others. 

According to the complaint, “Defendant (AWS) stores a myriad of types of data on behalf of a wide range of customers spanning virtually every industry sector.” “Notably, Defendant (AWS) also offers cloud storage services for businesses that handle biometric identifiers and biometric information. For example, some of the Defendant’s customers are commercial businesses that require their employees to provide their biometrics, e.g. fingerprints, to check-in and out of their shifts at work.”

The lawsuit alleges that AWS “converts this information into usable formats and mediums for its customers.”

Over the course of the last few years, the 2008 BIPA law has been used to target giant tech companies like Google and Facebook over facial recognition programs. But it has fundamentally been focused against employers across all spectrum of industries who demand biometric data from their workers. This biometric data can be in the form of fingerprint scans or other biometric modalities in order to verify the identity of the worker when punching a time clock for work shifts or when obtaining sensitive data or secured areas. 

Homeland Security expects to have biometric data on nearly 260 million people

Homeland Security expects to have biometric data on nearly 260 million people

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will soon have face, fingerprint and iris scans of at least 259 million people in its biometric database by 2022. These statistics are reported in a recent presentation from the agency’s Office of Procurement Operations and is reviewed by Quartz. 

In 2017, the agency forecasted to have data on 220 million unique identities by 2022. The recent presentation shows an increase in stats by 40 million unique identities. The presentation shared on October 30, at Homeland Security’s industry day includes a detailed summary of what the system currently contains. It also gives a detailed presentation of what the next few years will deliver.  

The agency is making a transition from a legacy system called IDENT to HART, a cloud-based system. HART which stands for Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology is hosted by Amazon Web Services. Homeland Security has the world’s second-largest biometrics database, behind only India’s countrywide biometric ID network in size. The department also shares its traveler data with other US agencies, state and local law enforcement as well as foreign entities. 

How Biometric Technology is Shaping Up for 2020

How Biometric Technology is Shaping Up for 2020

The verification of individuals for security measures has become remarkably important for organizations across all sectors. It’s not only imperative for financial institutions, banks, and law enforcement agencies to employ robust authentication systems but also for educational institutes, small businesses, and online retailers. The heightened threats of identity thefts, frauds, and online scams make greater security measures a necessity. 

One of the most appealing features of biometrics technology as a security measure is its simplicity. Biometrics employs the use of individual biometric traits. The most commonly used biometric authentication tool is fingerprint followed by facial recognition. Other forms of biometric modalities include facial verification, retina scans, voice recognition, finger vein IDs, etc.  

Biometrics has advanced to much prominence, especially in the last few years. In a 2015 report by Juniper Research, more than 770 million biometric authentication applications will be downloaded each year by 2019. In 2018, the global biometrics market accounted for $14.6 billion. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.2% over the years of 2019-2027. 

The concept of biometrics can be traced as far back as 31,000 years ago when men were leaving handprints as signatures next to their cave painting. This system went through a number of changes and by 1903, New York prisons were utilizing fingerprints of inmates to keep track of offenders. But it’s only been in the recent past that biometric technology has gone under striking evolution to become what we see today. The integration of biometrics in smartphones expanded rapidly in 2013 when Apple introduced the fingerprint sensor on its iPhone X’s home button. 

A number of businesses these days employ the use of biometrics. Healthcare, banking, financial services, digital currency, telecom, aviation are some of the businesses that have to incorporate customer identification. These businesses have exercised biometrics to protect their processes and remarkably increase their efficiency. The average identification time using a biometric system typically varies between 3 to 5 seconds. 

What Will Biometrics Look Like in 2020? 

 

According to a poll by Spiceworks, 90% of businesses will be using biometrics by 2020. The biometrics market is expected to reach a value of $24.44 billion by 2020, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets. This significant rise in biometrics begs the question of the future of biometrics. 

Let’s take an in-depth look at how biometrics will be all the rage in 2020. 

  • Majority Banks Will Employ Biometrics For Identity Verification 

Financial institutions and banks fall under immense constraints to verify the identity of their clients and have robust identification systems. Being the guardians of some of the most sensitive data, banks have to be at the forefront of biometric authentication

According to a report by ResearchandMarkets, 1.9 billion bank customers will be employing biometrics. Bank customers will be using biometrics to

  • Withdraw cash from ATM
  • Prove identity during customer onboarding
  • Initiate the process of online money transfer 
  • Access the mobile bank app 

According to a Goode Intelligence report, biometrics will be the primary means of identity authentication utilized by banks and financial institutions. 

Find more relevant resources:

How Biometric Technology is Shaping Up for 2020

  • Multimodal Biometric Systems expected to grow the most

Due to a growing need for security and protection, biometric technology is constantly evolving. The growth of multi-modal biometric systems can be attributed to the need for mitigation of frauds, scams and hacks. Multimodal biometrics employ at least two or more biometrics to verify the identity of the clients. There are a number of advantages of multimodal biometric systems over the unimodal systems: 

  • Through the combination of multiple identifiers, an additional level of security is added. 
  • Multimodal biometric systems are more effective, accurate and dependable. 
  • Another supplementary advantage of using a multimodal biometric system is the reduction in the Failure to Enroll (FTE) and Failure to Capture (FTC) rates. 
  • It provides a greater recognition efficiency compared to a unimodal system.
  • The intruder would have to break into more than one biometric system to break into the biometric multimodal system. 
  • Due to the availability of a number of features, a multimodal biometric system is more reliable.
  • If any of the modalities in a multimodal system is eliminated, the system can still effectively ensure security

Multimodal biometric systems will continue to gain more traction in 2020 with the increased development in the biometric sector. 

  • New Means of Identity Screening Will Be Explored

When it comes to biometrics and their application, most people limit it to fingerprint scans or facial recognition. Fingerprint modality is a huge market and is one of the most used biometrics. Biometrics is a vast field and through every passing day, its needs are escalating. In a 2017 report, it was noted that fingerprint modality will grow to an exceptional $11 billion in Banking and Financial Services by 2020 securing about $5.6 trillion payments. It becomes imperative to include newer means of biometrics for identity screening. 

The year 2020 will see other means of biometrics-based security systems. According to FCW, other biometrics methods will be joined alongside fingerprint and facial recognition. These different methods include measuring respiration and pulse or identifying veins in a finger. Cognitive vetting is also being explored like evaluating reactions to certain stimuli. These methods may very well prove to be more secure and reliable as compared to the present ones. But it is crucial to note that with more developments in the biometric industry, privacy questions will be raised as well.  

  • Biometrics Will Become Mainstream in Smartphones

It was not that long ago when digital biometrics was only a myth seen in sci-fi movies. In the last few years, biometrics has become remarkably mainstream, especially in smartphones. In 2016, 750 million smartphones which employed biometrics were in use, representing 30% of the global smartphone installed base. According to a report, by 2020, 100% of the smartphones in use will incorporate biometrics. 

Supplementary to that, more than 800 million smartphone transactions employing biometrics will be completed by 2020, generating close of $7 billion in annual biometric authentication revenue. Facial recognition for smartphones is going to gain a lot of traction as well. In 2020, 64% of smartphones shipped worldwide will have facial recognition technology. This percentage is up from just 23% last year, according to a report from Counterpoint Technology Market Research. 

Biometrics is a growing industry and when used correctly, it has provided an accurate set of data. Through the use of biometrics technology, users don’t have to go through the mundane processes of building complex passwords and remembering them. Biometrics provides a transparent way of identity verification and user accountability. 

Despite being secure, there are some privacy concerns attached to biometrics technology. There are issues that revolve around the safety of data collected and stored by retailers as well. Due to these privacy concerns, regulations regarding the use and collection of data are also being considered. In spite of this, the year 2020 will bring remarkable advancements in the biometrics industry. 

Face Detection Tool to Fight Bots Under Trial by Facebook

Face Detection Tool to Fight Bots Under Trial by Facebook

Facebook is currently battling a $35 billion class-action lawsuit for alleged misuse of facial recognition data. This still hasn’t stopped the California based social network giant from testing another facial detection feature that could make users queasy. 

Hong Kong-based reverse engineering app researcher, Jane Manchun Wong, tweeted screenshots on November 5.

Face Detection Tool

 

According to Wong, the company is testing verification features that require users to place their faces in a circle and then record a video as they rotate their heads slowly. This is done to prove that they are humans and not bots. 

Facial Recognition based identity verification

According to Facebook, the video selfies will be deleted after 30 days and will not be seen by others. Facebook talked to VentureBeat about the new tool and vehemently denied the use of this tool for facial recognition. A spokesperson for Facebook told VentureBeat

“Instead, it detects motion and whether a face is in the video.”

 

Face verification online

 

Facebook talked to Endaget and asserted that although this tool is under trial, it “does not use facial recognition.” The only purpose is to detect movements to make sure you are a human and not a bot. This means that Facebook is still storing data but isn’t using it for facial recognition purposes. 

US tech giants are under unprecedented inspection over the handling and usage of client’s data due to numerous scandals. One such scandal involves Facebook and the exposure of data of millions of its users to political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. From July next year, new privacy law will be effective in California that will allow the users to know what kind of personal information companies are looking for and how they are using it. 

Equifax Survey shows Britain Prefers Biometric Verification

Equifax Survey shows Britain Prefers Biometric Verification

Credit reporting agency, Equifax, reports that Brits are much more open to adopting biometric authentication and identification. According to the research, more Brits are using technology and are happy with further increases in usage. Using biometric authentication to unlock your smartphones is one of the most used applications of the technology, but what about age verification in the pub? 

The company surveyed 2000 people. According to the survey, 71% of the participants are content with finger-print or facial recognition to completely replace the old-school PIN and passwords for accessing smartphones. Another 64% would welcome the same technologies to replace passwords for laptops. 60% of the respondents are okay with biometric authentication for age verification while the use of biometrics for voting ballots was backed by 58%. The people surveyed were more careful when it came to the usage of biometrics to unlock their front door (41%), start their car (45%), or withdraw cash (46%). 

Keith McGill – Head of ID & Fraud at Equifax said: 

“As the rise in financial fraud continues, particularly when it comes to identity theft, it’s essential we develop and embrace new and innovative means to protect consumers.”

One of the challenges of widespread usage of biometric authentication will be around privacy and data protection concerns. This being said, it is still imperative to embrace and enhance biometrics and relevant technologies to mitigate frauds and scams. 

Data breaches

Data Breaches – Types, Sources, and Preventive Measures

A large number of well-renowned companies are under the threat of high-scale data breaches. After one data breach, it does not mean that the same company could not again be exposed to a data breach. Exceptions are there if that company successfully take in place stringent actions after tackling the vulnerabilities exploited before. An example of frequent data breaches is Yahoo data breach. Statistics show that in August 2016, Yahoo hack was uncovered that took place in 2014. It affected user accounts of around 500 million people. The same company faced another hack in December 2016 due to which 1 billion accounts were affected. In October 2017, this report was updated, stating a total of 3 billion affected users and is considered biggest data breach in history.

With the advent of digital file transfers and reliance on digital communication means by multiple industries, data breaches are residing fairly at a high rate. In the U.S, in 2015 data breaches increased to 781 million which were 157 million ten years back i.e. in 2005. In the same time period, compromised user records increased from 67 million to about 169 million. An aforementioned data breach of Yahoo was absolutely contributing to these exposed records. The company advised its users to immediately change passwords and guarantees its users that it will take stringent measures to eliminate the risks of further attacks.

There is a lose-lose situation when a data breach occurs. It is not only the customers whose information is compromised, not just the deceived organization which is dealing with the recovery of hijacked information, meeting legal compliance needs and doing the aftermath of reputational damage. This breach cycle has to break. Otherwise, the lose-lose situation will never end. 

What Data is Breached?

Personal, as well as a sensitive chunk of information, is breached. The information which online platforms ask to recognize some identity is compromised. This data includes first and last name, email address, residential address, contact number, username, passwords and some encryption keys that are a secret between user and organization for identification purposes. This information is called personally Identifiable Information (PII). 

This hijacked information is sold to third parties and are also weaponized by cybercriminals who use this information to conduct a large number of fraudulent activities. Credit card information is stolen through which fraudsters perform transactions, account takeover frauds are done, real identities are used in several other cybercrimes. Identities of children and adults are used to perform money laundering and terrorist financing. The reason is that these names have not been previously used or involved in any criminal activity before.

Emerging Forms of Data Breaches 

The dark web and emerging data breaches are threatening industries. Phishing attacks and account takeover frauds are looming online websites. E-commerce businesses, online gaming, charity, banking websites, etc. are highly prone to cyberattacks because of the assets it deals with. Any loophole in the system can cost businesses with heavy monetary and reputational loss. Online websites need to ensure that they authenticate each onboarding entity thoroughly against a bunch of checks that are enough to filter out bad actors from honest ones. Along with this, existing users should continuously be verified to make sure that identity is not switched with any fraudulent entity. 

Identity Theft

 

It is one of the most common data breaches. Identity theft was estimated to be accounted for about 50% of data breaches globally in 2015. It included about 40% of compromised records in the same year. Due to identity theft, a large number of financial institutions are affected. These sectors hold highly sensitive information in which financial information is common. This information if gets compromised results in huge damage for both the victim and the organization. Among this, the second most common type is the financial data breach. The financial sector lost 120 million identities in 2015. Cybercrimes are high in these sectors due to the attracting opportunities that fraudsters look for. The annual loss is an average of $13.5 million, which is highest as compared to other industries.

Phishing Attacks

The emergence of social engineering is giving rise to multiple other frauds. Among which, email phishing attacks and website phishing attacks are common. End-users are targeted with email phishing attacks. A phishing email from a renowned brand is sent to the legitimate customers which ask users to enter their credentials and credit card information. This email is from a fraudster who is trying to hack the account of end-users. This could be done by clicking the malicious link which redirects the user to a website that seems real but is just a clone of that website. Right after suer enter credentials, the account is hacked through that phishing attacks. 

Last year, most of the phishing attacks targeted e-commerce businesses, financial systems, and payment websites. Hackers are all active to exploit weaknesses in the system thorugh innovative tricks. On the same side, online businesses should take in place technological solutions to acter to these tricks.  

Credentials Stuffing

Credential stuffing is more or less similar to account takeover fraud. It is a cyberattack in which username and password related information are compromised and that account is hijacked. Fraudster gets unauthorized access to the account by stuffing combinations of username and passwords through automated requests for login. This stuffing is done by automated bots who fit in every possible combination to hack the account and use it for malevolent purposes. Research shows that stuffing attacks are 8% successful while attempting to account for takeover.

Overcoming Data Breaches with Biometric Authentication

Understanding the nature of data breaches, now there is a need for taking into account measures that mitigate future damage. Considering the common methods of user authentication i.e. 2-factor SMS based authentication ensures security when a user tries to access the account from different devices or locations. But unfortunately, this method of user verification is not most adopted. Only 10% of Gmail users use two-step verification. 

Well, that was one choice, data breaches take place as a result of unauthorized data access. Therefore, this should be catered with the immediate security layer that ensures an authentic user is trying to access the data/account, edit it or delete it. 

Biometric authentication is another option. For identity proofing and online user verification, a prompt, efficient and robust method is to verify the end-user based on biometrics. This could be through fingerprint scanning, iris/retina scanning or face verification.

Face Verification: Through unique facial features, an end-user can be verified. Every time a user gives an access request to the backend system, it will ask to verify the face biometrics. If the traits match, the user will be authenticated and get access to the account. Face verification uses Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning technology to map the facial features and decide in real-time whether the characteristics match the real user or not. 

Yes, fraudsters use tricks to fool the system, but facial recognition systems are strong enough to cater to those. The tricks of the printed image, or already taken selfie are used, which are tackled through liveness detection. Liveness detection ensures that the user is physically present at the time of verification. This can be done by recognizing the blinking of an eye, minor facial movements, 3D depth perception, etc. It ensures that the end-user is not fooling the system in any way. 

Biometric authentication is the primary step to cut the roots of growing data breaches. All possible cyberattacks are the result of unauthorized access which compromises user data and costs the businesses way more than the technical solution installment. Also, the regulatory authorities are set up to evaluate industries that are prone to data breaches and whether or not they take in place security measures to deter the risks. Identity verification through biometrics contributes to combat the risks of cyberattacks and hefty compliance fines.

Biometric Verification Shaping the Future of Payments

Biometric Verification – Shaping the Future of Payments

Today’s world is no longer different from the science fiction world. With the advent of technology, automation and artificial intelligence are transforming society. Biometric Verification technology is becoming a reality for businesses and industries dealing with finance. It doesn’t only have a significant impact on the payment industry but on the whole consumer’s industry in general as well.

The global explosion of technology is challenging the traditional methods, whether it’s about opening or accessing an account, verifying and authenticating individuals or making online transactions. The businesses need an improved, efficient and secure technology to compete with other organizations, meeting the customer demands. AI technology is continuously evolving and becoming more advanced and reliable for payment transactions. 

The global explosion of mobile payments

The evolution of technology and automation have led businesses towards the global expansion of online and mobile payments. The trend of cardless payments and cashless society is on the rise. According to Biometrics research group inc. report, the worldwide mobile payment transactions are expected to reach $750 billion by 2020, with more than 700 million users. Taking into account the growing trend of online payments, the security concern is even more vigilant. 

In online businesses, passwords and pin-codes are well-practiced authentication tools that have been used for years. However, bad consumer behavior is making these methods vulnerable to cybercriminals. For instance, people use too plain and simple passwords for their accounts, sometimes the same password for multiple platforms. As per a study conducted, only one-third of the respondents were using unique passwords/pin codes for their accounts. Whereas, two-thirds were using the same credentials and that too more than once. Such practices provide a golden opportunity for cybercriminals and fraudsters to exploit the identities of users and carry out fraudulent activities.

With the introduction of biometric technology especially, face verification, these problems are likely to become a thing of the past in upcoming years. Biometric authentication to approve a transaction or payment will eliminate the security concerns and secure the whole payments process. In fact, some big fishes are already opting for this new technology to the 

Biometric Adoption on the Rise

As the world is moving towards the fourth industrial revolution, huge amount of money in commerce investment is pouring, eventually expanding the e-commerce industry. The rise of card-less and mobile payments is driving industries towards the transformation of payment and authentication processes. Many organizations are already adopting biometric solutions to enhance the security of their payments and businesses; some examples of renowned business are:

  • Online retailers Ali Express and Amazon are exploring biometric technology through facial scanning. Also, amazon’s “smile to pay” feature is taking payment and customer experience to another level.
  • Apple Pay is successfully embracing a popularized use of biometrics, specifically fingerprints. Android Pay and Samsung Pay are following the suit as well.
  • Mobile Banking applications, Fintechs, and Credit Card Pay are also incorporating fingerprints and facial recognition for secure payments.
  • MasterCard is exploring novel ways to enhance payment methods, in fact, they are introducing an extensive identity check app “Pay through face” for the transaction.

These organizations are creating a tough competitive environment for other businesses which is pushing them to adopt biometrics for secure and enhanced customer experience.

The benefits of Cashless Payments

As technology is evolving, the cashless mobile payments and online transactions are becoming more fast and convenient. To say biometrics play major role in taking industries along the road of smart payments won’t be an understatement. With enormous advantages and a competitive edge in the market, biometric verification is the fastest adopted technology. At first, the biometrics were limited to fingerprint scanning but over the last few years it has vastly improved – today, modern biometric solutions can recognize voice pitches, retinal scanning and even facial recognition and emotion reading through facial scanning. 

Increased Security

The trend of online payments has grabbed the attention of intruders and fraudsters. They are always looking out for vulnerabilities to exploit user accounts. The traditional binary authentication method (user ID and Password) is no longer secure and easily hackable. A face verification solution provides an increased and efficient security check for online businesses. Biometrics are the unique features of an individual that can’t be stolen or compromised. 

Moreover, according to a report, almost one-third of consumers and business owners accept that this new technology will lead to more secure and safe payments. 31% of the business owners claim that they feel safer with new payment tech as it reduces the chances of frauds and they would have less cash on their premises. Therefore, biometric verification is quite significant in verifying the users, that too in real-time

Improved Customer Experience

Apart from the perspective of mobile payment, paying through biometrics is much more convenient. Just by the touch of their fingerprint or showing the face in the camera rather than typing complex passwords on small screens. Also, biometrics eliminates the hassle of remembering the passwords. According to the 2017 visa study, 70% of the respondents think biometrics are easier than passwords and 46% of them find biometrics more secure. 

Every day businesses are striving to be on the top. With the consumers’ attitude of welcoming speed and convenience, organizations want to meet the customer’s demands. Henceforth, adopting biometrics technology for fast and secure payments and enhanced customer experience makes complete sense.

Reduced Fraudulent Chargebacks 

The explosion of technology and the increasing trend of online shopping have resulted in a higher ratio of digital frauds and chargebacks. Due to a lack of proper verification services and relying on traditional authentication methods, fraudsters are getting an upper hand in compromising user identities and making fraudulent transactions leading to chargebacks. Every year retailers and merchants lose millions due to fraudulent chargeback claims. In 2016, the e-commerce industry suffered a loss of around $6.7 billion and 71% was due to chargeback fraud.

Face verification at the time of checkout confirms the remote presence of individuals and records the proof of verification. Verifying identity in real-time helps in combating the fraudsters, hence reducing chargeback frauds.  

Added check to meet Regulatory Compliances

The ever-growing digital fraud and identity theft cases have urged the government and regulatory agencies to take necessary steps for the prevention of online frauds and protect user identities. All the organizations dealing with money whether online or not, are enforced to meet know your customer (KYC), Customer Due Diligence (CDD), and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance. The failure to do so can land businesses into severe problems like hefty fines and even imprisonment.

Understanding the importance of meeting compliance, organizations are readily adopting the AI-powered verification services, biometrics being the most effective one. Not only for verification but biometric technology is a competent solution for authentication and a key element in securing the online transactions.