Study shows biometric security to replace passwords


A Visa Europe study has shown that a large proportion of young people are ready to ditch passwords and adopt bio-metric security measures. More than three-quarters of respondents between the age of 16-24 were in favour of bio-metric measures such as fingerprint and retina scanning or facial and voice recognition.

Fingerprint scanning was unsurprisingly the most appealing alternative to passwords. In fact, 70 per cent of the respondents in the 16-24 age bracket, predicted that fingerprint technology would be a primary form of identification by 2020. Other methods such as voice recognition and implanted chips were much less popular and only predicted to have a future role in security by 12 per cent and 16 per cent respectively.

Executive Director at Visa Europe, Jonathan Vaux said:

"We have more logins and passwords than ever to help keep us secure online and on the high street, but for Gen Z it just feels like an unnecessary burden. Bio-metric authentication using fingerprint recognition or retinal scans offers an ideal solution, combining unique security and ease of use. As products come online with these features integrated, we expect to see [the use of] multiple passwords as the industry standard begin to decline."

Fingerprint scanning is the leading bio-metric alternative, demonstrated by the addition of the technology to other services, such as Square this month. However, not for the first time, and as is usually the case with any new solution, fingerprint technology's security has also been questioned. At the Chaos Communication Congress held in Germany at the end of the last year - a hacker was able to demonstrate how he had successfully recreated the fingerprints of German defense minister Ursula voin de Leyen from a few high-definition photographs. In the case of an iPhone the hacker would still need the associated phone, but the ability to replicate someone's fingerprint is an issue being taken seriously by security experts.

Concerns about bio-metrics aside - here at Ensygnia we are certainly behind the extinction of the password. They have become a clumsy and impractical solution. I don't want to click an 'i forgot my password' button ever again. The Visa report also had some interesting stats about young people and their secrecy with passwords. In the study, 34 per cent admitted to sharing their debit or credit card PIN number and 32 per cent shared their smartphone password.

With that in mind, perhaps bio-metrics is a good solution. Certainly when it comes to the latest generation, it seems we not only need to improve security to protect them from cyber criminals, but to protect them from themselves.

Related stories around the web

Young people 'ready to ditch passwords for biometric security' - The Telegraph

German minister photo fingerprint 'theft' seemed far too EASY, wail securobods - The Register

Hacker fakes German minister's fingerprints using photos of her hands - The Guardian

USAA to roll out voice and facial authentication for mobile log-in - Fin Extra