6 Major Pros and Cons of Biometric Technology

6 Major Pros and Cons of Biometric Technology

by / Comments Off / 8820 View / Mar 17, 2015

Innovation and technology are constantly transforming the way that old practices or tasks are performed. Security at airports, military facilities and other locations has been changed forever with the advent of biometric technology. Biometric devices can range from fingerprint scanners to retinal scanners and everything in between. Before you decide if biometric technology impacts security in a positive way, it is a good idea to take a closer look at the pros and cons. This will allow you to see both sides clearly and enable you to make your own opinion on the topic of biometric technology.

Even though biometric technology has been seen as a breakthrough, there are both positives and negatives that can be seen. It is important to weigh the pros and cons against one another to form your own opinion about the effectiveness of biometric technology.

Pros of Biometric Technology

1. Easy Identification
The biggest benefit of using a biometric device for identification purposes is the ease of use that it offers. Fingerprint scanners are extremely affordable and are fairly easy to use. You can compare the fingerprints among millions of records that can be contained in a computer database. The results can be instantaneous depending on the amount of records that you are comparing the fingerprints to. Employees won’t have to carry identification cards any longer and can simply use their own fingerprint to identify themselves.

2. Invaluable Resource
The database that is being built up with the use of biometric devices allows for an invaluable database. Many agencies that are fighting against terror and crime will be able to take advantage of the databases created through the use of biometric technology in a variety of settings.

3. Less Identity Fraud
Biometric technology makes identity fraud less likely. This means that many different companies and organizations can save time and money. It is much more difficult to fraud a biometric device than to steal an employee identification card.

Cons of Biometric Technology

1. High Cost
In comparison to ID cards in the workplace, biometric devices are much more costly. Biometric technology is much more effective for security and identification purposes, but it is also much more expensive. Many biometric devices are not cheap and come with a high price.

2. Errors Can Occur
Even though biometric technology is known to be very effective and reliable, this does not mean that errors are nonexistent. The error rate for most biometric devices is around 1%, which is small but there is still a small chance of error. This means that if 1,000 people are identified using biometric technology about 10 will be misidentified. This is a small number, but it is an issue. Wrongly identifying someone can lead to major problems depending on the setting that the biometric device is used in. Eliminating errors altogether in identifying people using biometric technology is not possible.

3. Criminals Can Get Around Biometric Devices
It is possible for criminals to find ways to get around biometric technology. This means that biometric devices are not completely effective in halting criminals. Under certain lighting and in certain temperatures, biometric devices are even impaired further.

What Are Biometrics?

Biometrics can be quite complex, but it is possible to breakdown this automated method of recognition into simpler terms. Biometrics rely on physical or behavioral characteristics to allow for effective identification. The features that can be used for identifying using biometric technology include not only fingerprints, but also eyes, face, hand geometry, handwriting and even voice. There are a number of different biometric devices that can identify based on any of these features. However, fingerprint scanners are often the most common type of biometric technology that you will see.

How Does This Technology Work?

Biometric technology is extremely unique and it involves comparing the idiosyncrasies of physical features to existing recorded data that is stored in a computer database. Biometric identification devices are beginning to pop up all over and are often seen at airport security. It is even common for many laptops to come equipped with fingerprint scanners. This type of technology is not quite as new as you might guess. Biometric technology has actually been around for a number of decades, but the process of using it for identification purposes is relatively new. Biometric technology has been simplified over the years to make it ideal for use in security maintenance.

Easiest Way to Identify

Research shows that biometric devices infused with biometric technology are the easiest and most effective way to identify individuals for security purposes. Biometric technology can be used for large corporations, government agencies and even small private business owners.

Biometric technology can be a great way to enhance security, but this technology is not without flaws.