McAfee-Atlantic Council Joint Study Sees Important Role for Biometrics in e-Voting

Virtual Acceptance

Biometric registration has recently become mandatory for voting in the Philippines.

A new study conducted by Intel Security’s McAfee in partnership with the Atlantic Council has concluded that biometric technology may have a major role to play as governments move forward with the introduction of online voting.

Online voting is a relatively new idea for public elections, but it’s one that is quickly gaining traction. It’s already a standard part of Switzerland’s process for referendums, in which voters get their online passwords delivered by the national postal service; and in Estonia voters use the computer-readable chips embedded in their national identification cards to access the online polls. But security concerns remain very real, especially in less affluent and more political unstable areas like India, which nevertheless has set up 900,000 e-voting machines across the country to provide citizens with greater access to the political system. McAfee and the Atlantic Council concluded that biometric security measures such as fingerprint-scanners could significantly enhance the integrity of online voting systems around the world.

Governments interested in proceeding with online voting will probably take this recommendation seriously. McAfee is by now a household name given its history in Windows malware-detection software and despite the criminal misadventures of its colorful founder it remains a trusted name in the realm of IT security. The Atlantic Council, meanwhile, is a nonpartisan think tank specializing in international political affairs that has been around for over half a century.

October 8, 2014 – by Alex Perala