To What Extent Have Biometrics Been Implemented in the Real World?

© rolffimages - Fotolia.com

© rolffimages – Fotolia.com

Biometrics provide a way to positively identify a human being based on the characteristics of their bodies. Biometrics do have something of a sci-fi image, but this technology is actually quite widespread already. It provides several advantages over less advanced forms of access control.

Where Has It Been Used?

Biometric technology is already being used to help people more easily access vital resources such as their bank accounts and even medical services, according to CBS News. Apple, the consumer electronics giant, has also recently implemented fingerprint recognition on its popular iPhone line of smartphones, according to Reuters. The advantages of biometric identification are readily apparent in a world where many people find themselves with too many different ways to identify themselves between the many secured services that they use.

Passwords, PINs and More

Consumers today are required to memorize a great many different passwords, PIN codes and other authorization codes to access the various services they use. Not only is it cumbersome for consumers to remember all of this, the necessity of having passwords that are secure—which also means very obscure—makes them even more difficult to remember. Biometrics have a natural appeal in consumer device applications because of the fact that the eliminate the need to use more primitive means of access control.

Apple, according to the Reuters article, is positioned to implement its biometric system—Touch ID—on other services that it offers. The wide range of services that the company provides could all easily be accessed via biometric identification, providing a safe, effective and convenient way to access a range of services without the need to have separate credentials for each of them.

Going Bigger

According to the Center for Global Development, India is planning on implementing a universal ID program that would use biometric data. This is no small project. India has 1.2 billion residents. According to the Center’s reporting, there have already been some significant findings as a result of India’s program. For instance, a cordless design makes it easier to enforce security standards and is actually more cost effective than a design that uses cards. One of the conveniences of biometric identification, in fact, is that people have no need to carry a card or another form of identification around with them. All they need to do is scan whatever part of their body is being used to identify them, eliminating the inconvenience and cost associated with cards.

The Benefits

Among the biggest benefits that governments and private industries want to reap is the reduction of fraud and increasing the accuracy of identification. There are other benefits, as well, such as the aforementioned cost savings versus a card-based system. As the technology is developed further, it’s likely that it could become even more convenient and accurate, expanding the possibilities where consumer devices, government security and other applications are concerned.

Biometrics are still very cutting edge, but they have already been widely adopted by large companies and governments.