It also helps to reduce the threat of identity theft as this is frequently initiated through the hacking of such highly vulnerable wireless communication devices. According to ThirdFactor, the same BioLock technology is currently being adapted to meet the needs of the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS packages on the markets near horizon. This suggests that the pacesetting consumer brands in the technology, software, cell phone and computing industries all view biometric security as one of the paths for innovation. This is underscored by a view both governmentally and commercially that online and cyber-security need to be major concerns for business, agencies and private citizens alike.
That said, many of the cutting edge biometric technologies are still not impervious to the ingenuity of hackers and identity thieves. According to Rick Smith, a private researcher who has worked with the National Security Agency in testing its it vulnerabilities, hackers remain always one step ahead of commercial technology designers. Brandt (2002) states that every method of biometric security which is in circulation is susceptible to highly sophisticated forms of identity fraud. Here, Brandt reports, “Smith described several ways the most common types of biometric identification devices — iris scanners, face and voice recognition systems, and thumbprint readers — could be fooled. Biometrics, the science of identifying a person by reading their unique body features, have been much touted as a way to strengthen domestic security at places ranging from supermarkets to nuclear power stations. Biometrics arent secrets, theyre properties of your body that you slough off all day long, when youre eating lunch, or driving your car, or opening the door, Smith said. As a result, each of us leaves a trail of biometric signatures everywhere we go, creating many chances for theft of biometric information.
” (Brandt, p. 1)
This is to suggest that a reliance on biometric security of the nature described above — predominantly governed by voice, face or iris recognition — is not sufficient alone to ensure against identity theft. As some prominent government commissioned research specialists have observed, these features are all in some manner permeable to artificial replication for unauthorized security clearance. It is thus that for many of the most sophisticated and sensitive of agencies, the emphasis is increasingly turning to DNA data as a more secure biometric indicator of identity and thus a more effective instrument in law enforcement, in intelligence gathering, in military information-gathering and in private security. Additionally, concerns over the balance between security and privacy must be assessed before any such firm or organization begins to employ a biometrics-based system for its own purposes. As the article by Silverman & Liu (2001) points out, “there is no one best biometric technology. Different applications require different biometrics. To select the right biometric for your situation, you will need to navigate through some complex vendor products and keep an eye on future developments in technology and standards.” (p. 27)
This means that the various concerns over vulnerability, accountability and privacy must be factored into the decision as to whether or not biometric security features should be initiated and, consequently, as to how they may best be implemented.
Brandt, a. (2002). Biometric Security Barely Skin-Deep. PC World.
Roberts, M.R. (2010). Ventura County Adopts Biometric-Based PC Security System. Fire Chief.com.
Silverman, M. & Liu, S. (2001). A Practical Guide to Biometric Security Technology. IEEExplore, 3(1), 27-32.
Technovelgy. (2010). Biometric Security.