Comment on Fingerprint readers from John Davies at integrated security specialist TDSi
As the world has been getting the first glimpses of the new Apple iPhone 5C and 5S, it’s not the funky colours of the 5C that have caught my eye but the fingerprint reader that has been introduced on the new 5S. Whilst fingerprint readers are nothing new, I believe the inclusion of this technology on a smartphone is an important indication that biometric security is becoming more mainstream than ever before.
For the last few decades PIN security has been ubiquitous, so it was an obvious step that smartphones would also use this technology. But there can be complications, it’s easy to forget a PIN and equally it can be possible for a quick-witted individual to learn this and use it for unauthorised entry without the rightful owner necessarily being aware anything is amiss! Fingerprints (and indeed anything that uses the unique properties of the human body, such as facial recognition or iris recognition) have great advantages. They won’t be forgotten or mislaid and can’t be replicated by any simple method. So the user will never struggle to prove their identity!
Biometric security is already a very significant element of the security industry so it’s interesting to see the publicity with the launch of such a high-profile consumer product. It’s right that consumers will be able to choose biometrics as an alternative to technologically and practically inferior methods of identification. In a fast moving world, people don’t want inconvenience they want to be able to securely use what they are entitled to with a minimum of fuss, whilst maintaining full security. I suspect this will be an important landmark in the wider adoption of biometric security and will encourage the majority of people to call for it elsewhere in their daily lives.