Year in Review: Is ‘Biometrics’ Becoming a Dirty Word?

Biometric technology has been around for quite some time, and in recent years has become an integral part of the mobile revolution, helping to deliver security and convenience to many millions of consumers as they use their smartphones to log into bank accounts, transfer money, and perform many other sensitive transactions online. But in the past couple of years, biometric technology has also seen perhaps more controversy than ever before, thanks to mounting public concern over how police and other government agencies use biometrics in public, especially when it comes to facial recognition.

Consumers’ love of the ease and simplicity of biometric authentication on mobile devices remains strong, and even facial recognition is enjoying a special moment in the spotlight after Apple made it big pivot toward face-based authentication on its iPhone line in late 2017. But this all amounts to considerable confusion for those who have only a passing familiarity with biometric technology, as everyday consumers don’t necessarily understand the distinction between face authentication and face identification, not to mention the myriad other issues that the biometrics industry is currently grappling with, such as government regulation, liveness detection, the elimination of bias in machine learning, and so on.

Given the controversy and confusion, this is a critical time for the biometrics industry itself to come to grips with these issues. And before that can happen, we need to know where we stand. The annual FindBiometrics Year in Review survey offers the perfect opportunity to figure that out; it takes just a few minutes for one person to complete, and in return offers a compelling picture of how those who are most familiar with biometric technologies feel about questions like privacy concerns and regulations, public education efforts, the government’s use of biometrics, and more.

Is “biometrics” a dirty word? Let your peers know what you think, and help the industry as a whole to find its footing at this crucial time: