Why Europe Must End Its 30-Year Digital Winter to Ensure Its Long-Run Future

Biometrics Streamline Age-Sensitive Transactions as Privacy Concerns Persist

biometrics

Biometric technologies have garnered increasing attention and adoption in recent years, transforming the authentication and digital identification landscape across various industries. 

From fingerprint scans to facial recognition and iris scanning to pay-by-hand, unique biometric identifiers offer a reliable and secure means of verifying identity, resulting in a more robust form of authentication compared to traditional methods like passwords or PINs, which can be vulnerable to theft, phishing and social engineering attacks.

Furthermore, biometric technologies have the potential to reshape user experience, offering frictionless authentication methods that enhance convenience and efficiency. Whether it’s unlocking a smartphone with a fingerprint or accessing secure facilities with facial recognition, biometrics streamline processes and eliminate the need for cumbersome authentication procedures.

Beyond security and user experience, biometrics also hold promise for unlocking new market opportunities and driving innovation across industries. 

Trust Stamp’s recent introduction of an age estimation solution underscores this ongoing trend toward biometric innovation. This AI-powered solution estimates a user’s age through a simple facial scan, helping to create “a digital space that’s safe, compliant and inclusive,” the company said in a Friday (March 15) blog post.

By precisely determining user age, businesses can navigate the complexities of age-sensitive transactions, thereby fostering a digital environment that is both secure and trustworthy. 

“Trust Stamp Age Estimation technology is transforming how businesses across social media, online gaming, gambling, and age-restricted retail engage with their customers, ensuring a safe, secure, inclusive, and seamless digital experience,” the company added.

Addressing Biometrics’ Privacy Concerns

While biometric technologies offer significant advantages, they also provoke ethical and legal dilemmas, particularly regarding consent and the use of personal data.

Earlier this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced plans to expand biometric usage via its CBP One app, designed to streamline entry processes into the country. This initiative, however, has stirred concerns among immigrant rights groups about the storage of personal data, particularly for travelers exiting the country.

“We are concerned about the ever-expanding surveillance capabilities and requirements that CBP is adding to CBP One. With little notice or oversight, CBP has expanded biometric and geolocation surveillance to individuals not even in the U.S.,” Julie Mao, co-founder and deputy director of Just Futures Law, a legal organization that focuses on immigrant rights, told FedScoop. 

This development coincides with global efforts to impose restrictions on biometric technologies, observed in countries like China and the U.K. 

Similarly, bipartisan legislation was introduced in the U.S. last November to prohibit involuntary facial recognition screening at airports. Lawmakers cited concerns over privacy infringements by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), particularly the unauthorized storage of travelers’ biometric data.

Amid these apprehensions, a significant share of U.S. consumers continue to embrace biometric authentication tools. According to a joint PYMNTS Intelligence and AWS studymore than 50% of consumers completing online purchases utilize biometric authentication to verify transactions. 

Popular methods include facial recognition and fingerprint scans, adopted by 28% and 49% of consumers, respectively. Additionally, nearly 60% of facial recognition users employ this method more than once weekly. 

This robust consumer interest is an indication that biometric technologies will continue to wield significant transformative potential in the digital age, offering enhanced security, convenience and innovation.

However, as adoption becomes widespread and biometric technologies evolve, it becomes imperative to continuously address concerns related to data collection, storage and potential misuse. Doing so is essential for biometrics to fully unlock its potential in shaping the future of authentication, identity verification and user experience across diverse sectors.