Fearful consumers cry out for biometric security

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Fearful consumers cry out for biometric security

An eye for an eye.

The rising fear of identity theft has left consumers "overwhelmingly in favour" of the widespread use of biometric technology to identify individuals through physical characteristics such as fingerprints, research has claimed.

Data released today by the Unisys Trusted Enterprise Index indicates that consumer mistrust of the current processes that government and business use to protect the security of personal information has reached new highs.

"We have seen a consistent outcry among consumers for more effective technologies, like biometrics, that will better equip businesses and government organisations to protect and verify personal information in a way that's reliable and convenient," said Mark Cohn, vice president for integrated security programs at Unisys.

"Consumers are concerned that current security processes at our nation's airports and borders are inadequate, which is likely to result in even more widespread adoption of biometrics within these areas."

The research found that a large majority of consumers in the US (63 percent) and UK (87 per cent) believe that the rise in identity fraud and the insufficient protection of personal information will become a "significant security threat" in the future.

Consumers also feel that financial institutions and governments are not doing enough to stop the rise.

As a result, an even greater percentage of US (69 per cent) and UK (92 per cent) consumers would prefer banks, credit card companies, healthcare providers and government organisations to adopt biometric technologies to verify personal identities safely and quickly.

This compares to other protection measures such as smart card readers, security tokens or passwords/Pins.

The research was conducted on behalf of Unisys by the Ponemon Institute which polled 1,744 respondents from a sampling frame of close to 16,000 consumers in the US and coordinated with Ipsos/Mori in the UK, which polled 500 consumers in November 2006.
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