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Issues and Concerns

Biometric is a technology that identifies and authenticates individuals based on their physical characteristics. Biometrics may be the extensively used technology in the future, as it provides another level of security and biometric traits are highly unique and consistent across the user population. So, it is supposed to be fool-proof security, but it's not a foolproof security solution.

Several Issues and concerns of biometrics are listed below:

  • The Effect of Biometric on System Performance: The signature biometrics system is extensively used in every verification area but it is not attainable for users with highly inconsistent signatures. Besides, there often exist people whose signatures are very simple and can be forged easily. It degrades the performance of the biometric system. Similarly, the facial recognition system may be confusing in distinguishing duplicate twins.
  • Biometrics is not private- Biometrics seems to be secure on the surface, but that doesn't necessarily make it more secure than passwords. A password is integrally a secret because only you have the authority to know it. Although the hackers can acquire it by brute force attacks or phishing, but in general, people can't access it. On the other hand, biometrics is innately public. You reveal your eyes, ears whenever you look at things. With fingerprint recognition, you leave your fingerprints everywhere you go. With the invention of so many gadgets, someone can anytime record your voice without your acknowledgment. Fundamentally, there's easy access to all these identifiers. Even a hacker can easily rupture any of those databases to leak and steal your biometric identification.
  • Robustness of a Biometric System Environment- The high system performances claimed by biometric manufacturers were often difficult to be realized in actual operating environments. Most of the functional tests are conducted in controlled laboratory environments where everything was supervised in ideal environmental setups, and because of that the recognition system also interacts correctly. But the same is not possible in a real-world scenario because the voice recognition system which has worked well with a quiet background might affect the accuracy of the voice verification system due to undesirable noises. Even the same is for a facial recognition system that is based on conventional cameras is also severely affected by the problem of illumination.
  • The Need for 'Liveness' Detection in Capturing Devices- As with the growing cases of signature forgery, several researchers developed signature databases for testing and reporting of skilled forgery detection. There are also research efforts to automatically synthesize forged handwritten specimens to overcome the limitation of naive forgers in producing positive forgery samples.
  • Biometrics can be hacked - If a hacker has managed to click or arrange the picture of an individual's finger, ear or eye, they could easily gain the access of their accounts. While Apple's Touch ID was broadly recognized as a biometric advancement, but the famous hacker Jan Krissler was able to hack the technology just a day after the iPhone was released. Likewise, researchers from the Chaos Computer Club generated fake fingers to unlock iPhones.
  • Biometrics hacks may have greater consequences- Biometric reveals the part of an individual's identity, if it gets stolen, then it can be used to falsify legal documents, passports, or criminal records, which can do more damage than a stolen credit card pin or number. Unlike passwords, credit cards, or other documents, you can't replace physical identifiers. If someone has managed to get the photos of your iris, you can't get another eye.

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