Hidden Risks Of Biometric Identifiers

How To Avoid The Hidden Risks Of Biometric Identifiers

Biometrics | December 28, 2015 | Rabid Ranter

Technology that identifies you by something you are is showing up in e-passports, laptop login screens, smart firearms and even consumer products, like the iPhone. Current generation systems generally use static biometric features, such as fingerprints, iris scans and facial recognition, either measured directly or mediated through a device, such as a smartphone.

We are on the cusp of a revolution that will usher in dynamic (e.g. gestural, heart rhythm, gait analysis) and chemical (e.g. DNA, body odor, perspiration) biometrics. There will also be hybrid technologies, such as the Nokias vibrating magnetic ink tattoos (US Patent 8, 766, 784) and the password pill from Proteus Digital Health. Biometrics will also play an increasingly significant role as one of the factors in multi-factor authentication. The author created one of the first typing rhythm recognition algorithms and one of the earliest DNA sequencing machines in the 1980s and has a long term perspective on this subject.

Like all new technologies, advances in biometrics will bring new advantages and also new risks. This presentation by Thomas Keenan at Black Hat USA 2015 surveys cutting edge biometric technologies and provides a framework for evaluating them from the perspectives of security, reliability, privacy, potential for abuse and perceived creepiness. Learn what is coming down the biometrics road now, so you'll be ready to intelligently choose and implement these technologies as they come on the market in the near future.

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