Use of biometric technology is on the rise now. It is a method of identifying people. Biometrics techniques are common in banks, foreign embassies, and police stations.

It consists of voice recognition, fingerprints and retina and iris eye scans. While it works just fine, biometric technology has its challenges. There are hackers and malicious people who could use biometrics in a hurtful manner.

How biometric technology works

Biometrics is a great passwords substitute. It uses data that evil people cannot steal or tamper with. This is not the case with passwords and PIN codes for use with ATMs. A wicked, unauthorized person could record these codes and use them later.  Biometrics, luckily, is safer. No unauthorized person can tamper with biometric data.

You are the carrier of biometrics. Your fingerprints and eye retinal and iris are yours forever. So, biometric data is the best to use when you want to authenticate a bank account. Biometrics has substituted passwords.

Now we see banks and other organizations busy using biometrics to confirm user accounts. The aspect of biometric that banks use is voice recognition.  Where they use mobile phones the fingerprint and eye scans methods are standard.

Can biometrics affect your privacy?

The answer is yes. Biometrics can affect users’ privacy in three ways.

First, a criminal could steal the biometrics storage or signatures. Banks and other organizations claim that they only keep users’ signatures. But what if someone gained access to them? They could use them as long as they please.

Second, advertisers could misuse biometrics by offering you targeted ads. As you already know, targeted ads relate to how you behave online.  Hence, by the time the marketer sends them to you, they have tracked your surfing styles.

Suppose now that those who keep your biometrics sell your data to advertising agencies. That’s enough data to create a full account with and target you with advertisements. Although biometrics work offline, it could work against you just like your online passwords.

Third, no strict policies are controlling the use of biometrics. And where there are no rules people are likely to abuse the freedom. This is why biometrics could put your privacy in danger.

Final word

Before biometrics becomes the standard way to authenticate people, more investigation is necessary. This exploration will establish how to tackle the three privacy issues we have discussed.

Image from Wikipedia

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