Biometric technologies, commonly referred to as biometrics, are “automated methods of verifying or recognizing the identity of a living person based on a physiological or behavioral characteristic.” Biometrics is not merely fingerprint analysis—it includes other human attributes such as voice, iris, retina, hand, face, handwriting, keystroke, gait, ear shape, head resonance, and body odor. The role of biometric technologies in securing the rising number of digital transactions cannot be stressed enough.
Here are the four trends to watch out for as the next generation of biometrics revolutionizes digital authentication:
1. Legacy Technology Is on Its Way Out
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the US government agency engaged in developing information security standards and guidelines, has already warned about the vulnerabilities inherent in traditional 2FA methods, including one-time passwords (OTPs), which can be bypassed via mobile porting and SIM swaps. The emergence of fortified biometric technologies may radically improve 2FA or eliminate it from the authentication landscape.
2. More Seamless User Experience
The next generation of biometric technologies is subtle. For example, gait analysis, a modern biometric technology that works in the background, uses data from a phone’s accelerometer to measure an individual’s unique walking style and body movements. This information can then be used to confirm if the rightful owner of the phone is indeed in possession of it.
Researchers at the University of Manchester designed a gait analysis system that offered 99.3% accuracy. They even proposed installing the technology into airport floors to improve security. Gait analysis and other similar biometric technologies will create a seamless and frictionless user experience.
3. Biometric Technology Will Not Be a Threat to Other Mobile Authentication Technologies
Biometric technologies establish if the rightful owner of a phone is in possession of it. However, they don’t necessarily establish how long the phone has been owned and operated by one person, which is a key marker of legitimacy in phone-centric cybersecurity. Companies and banks can significantly reduce fraud by pairing the next generation of biometrics with other cutting-edge tools like Prove’s Trust Score™.
4. Privacy Is Key
Since the history of biometrics is closely linked with the fundamental right to privacy, some feel that, when misused, biometric technology can be invasive and unethical. Today, biometrics has continued to be used by law enforcement in ways that result in the over-surveillance of targeted communities, especially Black Americans. In order to earn consumer buy-in and overcome distrust of new technologies, it will be critical for technology companies to develop zero-knowledge frameworks and robust privacy policies.
The next wave of biometric technology is ready to take the market by storm and transform digital authentication by rapidly replacing legacy technologies, supporting existing security protocols, offering a seamless user experience, and ensuring privacy.