Is Your Privacy a Concern with Biometrics?
When people started using biometric identifiers, many believed that it was all of the security that we needed. However, that was around 15 years ago, and we are still having security and privacy issues. As biometrics become even more common, the chances of hacks are becoming even more common!
Years ago, biometrics was used primarily to fingerprint criminals. Government agencies then started using biometrics to identify federal and state employees, and corporations soon followed. Now, everywhere we look, we can see the use of biometrics in action.
One of the ways that we commonly use biometrics is to access electronic devices, and many of us use biometrics to clock in at work. With all of this use, however, do we have something to worry about?
How Biometrics Have Grown
We are definitely expecting the use of biometrics to skyrocket over the next decade. In fact, estimates are that we could see more than 500 million new scanners being installed. Everywhere we look, there is some type of camera or scanner, but most consumers don’t seem concerned. In fact, a recent survey shows that around 80% of people are more confident in biometrics than they are with passwords…but this is a false sense of security that could pose a big problem.
You Are Not as Secure as You Might Think
Think about this for a minute; if your password gets stolen, you get a notification that you need to change it. This can be done over and over again with a new password. However, with biometrics, if a hacker accesses your information, there is nothing you can do. They have it forever, and you can’t change your eye scan nor your fingerprint.
Attacks are Here
Hackers are continuing to get smarter, and they are finding more ways to steal your info. There are more and more attacks that include biometric information, too. Just a couple of years ago, a report from the Office of Personnel Management showed something quite frightening.It reported that millions of government employees had their fingerprint scans stolen. I was actually a victim of that crime as a member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. It is believed that the Chinese government was behind this, and it wasn’t a simple little attack. Many of these people had all 10 of their scans taken, and all of them are still vulnerable, today. Remember; you can’t just change your fingerprints! With this type of a hack, identity theft protection will not help here. But, it’s still good to have that type of protection.
How to Fight Back
Though there are plenty of people who don’t feel very secure with this, it is very important for those who choose to use a biometric scan to know that companies and government agencies must be held responsible with their biometric information. These organizations must do all they can to ensure that these scans remain secure.
Let’s look at Touch ID from Apple. Most people think that the image of your fingerprint is actually stored on your phone. This isn’t the case, though. Instead, it only stores a mathematical representation of your fingerprint. This means that it is totally impossible for someone to create a copy of your fingerprint from this representation. On top of this, there is a chip in these devices that include Secure Enclave, which is an advanced security concept, which protects fingerprint data and passcodes.
This is what companies and the government needs to do when using biometrics, too.
When there is any technology that requires biometrics, consumers must be sure that they are insisting that their information and scans are safe. You don’t have to be afraid, but you do need to be safe, just like you would be if you were doing online banking.
Now that you know all of this, do your loved ones a favor and share it with them. The more people who know, the more we, as a population, are educated and prepared.
Written by Robert Siciliano, CEO of Credit Parent, Head of Training & Security Awareness Expert at Protect Now, #1 Best Selling Amazon author, Media Personality & Architect of CSI Protection Certification.