A Pragmatic Approach to Privacy with All-New Biometric Securities

Banking CIO Outlook | Tuesday, July 02, 2019

IT organizations are embracing potential biometric techniques to achieve elevated outcomes, protecting user privacy. 

FREMONT, CA: The world has experienced fast development of biometric information technologies over the previous century. Biometric techniques are now being used in a broad spectrum of real-time cases and applications in both, government and private sectors, including physical and logical access controls, attendance recording, payment systems, crime and fraud prevention, and border safety checks. In terms of general knowledge, acceptance, and extensive use, biometric techniques are now reaching a significant limit. Biometric technologies promise many advantages, including enhanced user authentication, increased user comfort, and increased safety and operational efficiencies.

Employers today use fingerprints to monitor the hours of staff, retail shops perform facial scans to detect disturbing clients, and office buildings are fitted with biometric safety access. However, the use of biometrics brings considerable legal risk as countries implement and enforce legislation aimed at protecting the privacy of people. For instance, the Biometric Information Privacy Act of Illinois generates a personal right of action (BIPA), and violations can result in severe statutory damage.

Employers are increasingly adopting biometric tracking technology to regulate the access of staff to delicate or limited fields, as well as time-keeping, logging into software and computer systems, and activating equipment. There are undeniable advantages for the economy and safety. Timeclock systems requiring a fingerprint or facial scan can substantially decrease time fraud to zero. Implementing a biometric access protocol to enable the use of a "BYOD" mobile phone allows staff to function remotely while reducing the danger to the secure network of the employer. Mandating biometric approval for access to protected data or regions by various staff can deter industrial spying and embezzlement. However, at some stage, the potential misuse of biometric data outweighs the employer's advantages, threatening the privacy rights of people, and posing actual risks.

As states gradually tackle biometric information issues – against the lightning pace of technological development – it will be a steady fight to balance the company interests of employers with the willingness to safeguard what remains of the privacy of employees.

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