Technology is all around us; this is not new information. Smartphones, tablets, smart tvs, self-driving cars, drones, the list goes on and on. One of the newest sectors of technology to have risen in popularity as of late is biometrics. Now, if you aren’t technologically savvy, you may be asking yourself, “What in the world is biometrics?” That’s a great question. I figured that I would go through and provide a brief overview of this fascinating and, somewhat, new technology.
Firstly, I would like to point out that if you have a smartphone that was released in the last four years, you probably use biometrics every single day of your life. That fingerprint scanner on your smartphone, that’s biometrics; or at least, it’s one facet of biometrics.
In layman’s terms, biometrics is the combination of statistical data and human characteristics. Biometric authentication is when human characteristics — fingerprint, voice, face, etc. — are used to identify and authenticate certain information.
But why am I talking about it? Because it is one of the most secure methods of storing and accessing your information. Passwords, locks and keys and other traditional forms of security have served our society well for the last several millennia, but with an ever changing world that is constantly being updated with technology, it was only a matter of time before our security methods were updated as well.
Biometric authentication is still relatively new technology when compared to the lock and key, but it is already being applied in several situations. As previously mentioned, almost all modern smartphones contain a fingerprint scanner. Other phones include more advanced methods of biometric authentication, such as facial recognition technology. Amusement parks like Walt Disney World use biometrics in the form of fingerprint scanners to ensure that visitors are using the appropriate tickets. Even airports are beginning to use cutting edge technology for authentication and security, ranging from standard fingerprint scanners to much more intrusive implanted chips.
Some even believe that this technology will completely replace traditional passwords altogether. As someone who believes first and foremost in the security of others, I appreciate this technology. If it can be implemented in a way that protects our society from malicious hackers, then I fully support it.