What is biometric authentication?
It is the automatic identification or identity verification of an individual based on physiological or behavioral characteristics. Such authentication is accomplished by using computer technology in a noninvasive way to match patterns of live individuals in real time against enrolled records. Examples include products that recognize faces, hands, fingers, signatures, irises, voices, skin, and fingerprints.
What is biometric authentication used for?
Biometrics are most commonly used to safeguard international borders, enhance computer network security, control access to facilities, protect financial transactions, verify time and attendance, and prevent benefits fraud.
What are the benefits of biometric technology?
For consumers, biometrics are an effective way to preserve privacy and protect against identity theft. The technologies also offer a convenient alternative to carrying documents, remembering passwords, and entering personal identification numbers. Since individuals can be accurately identified by biometric technology, end users also gain benefits by relieving security personnel, network managers and customer service representatives of the tedious — and often intrusive — tasks of identity verification and password/PIN administration. Biometrics give companies and governments a simple and cost effective way of getting higher productivity from workers, cutting waste and fraud, and delivering consistent, reliable customer service.
How do biometrics protect personal information from unauthorized disclosure?
A biometric record is an encrypted template stored in digital form. Standing alone the record is of no use because it cannot be reconstructed to reveal a person’s identity to someone else. When such a template is used as a protective layer to make sure that only the "owner" can access information, it serves as an effective gatekeeper of personal privacy and a strong deterrent against identity theft. Compared to other methods of establishing who you are — producing a drivers' license, showing a birth certificate, or revealing one’s family history — biometrics are tools that can actually enhance privacy and also prevent abuse.
How do you know that biometric technology is safe to use?
Biometric devices have been in the marketplace for over two decades. The technologies are non-intrusive and present no risk to public health and safety. IBIA member companies are committed to the highest standards of systems integrity and database security to deter identity theft, protect personal privacy, and ensure equal rights under the law.
How do you know that biometric technology will work as promised?
Biometric technologies have been tested under the most demanding conditions. They protect facilities that are vital to national security, prevent unauthorized people from crossing borders, and preserve the integrity of financial systems and data networks. The real-world results show that biometrics are robust, easy to use, and cost effective. IBIA's members, recognizing that truth is the key to industry credibility, go a step further by attesting that their stated claims are accurate and can be independently verified by a competent authority.