Biometrics and Identity Theft

Will Biometrics Eradicate Identity Theft Completely?

With identity theft on the rise, companies are trying to find solutions to lower the risk of identity theft. Interestingly, there is a possible solution on the horizon. Biometrics, a technology that can help to lower identity theft occurrence, is being introduced to the marketplace. Why? Because identity theft is a billion-dollar problem and biometrics promises to alleviate that burden.

What Are Biometrics?

Biometrics involves automatically recognizing a person based on that person’s physical traits. Biometrics can involve scanning fingerprints to determine a person’s identity or even scanning a person’s facial features.

People Change, Technology May Not

A biometric system stores data about an individual for later matching. When a person ages, his or her biometric information should change with them. However, it is because people constantly change, it can be hard to ensure the accuracy of using biometric systems for identifying individuals. Injury and disease can affect the quality of the information as well and an aging person affected with cataracts might not match up with the earlier information that a biometric system has stored for that person.

Scanning the human retina proves to be a highly accurate form of biometrics, but it is not well received by the public. Basically, an infrared beam has to scan your pupil to determine a match with the information stored in the biometric system. The elderly are vulnerable to identity theft and would benefit from reliable technology aimed to reduce identity theft. However, cataracts or glaucoma can affect some elderly individuals from being able to participate in biometric scanning. This scenario demonstrates one of the main problems of biometrics: the technology to help a particular age group will actually not even be able to be utilized by that group anyway.

Currently, biometrics is not a fool-proof solution to reduce identity theft. With technological advances, biometrics might be able to be adapted and used on a more widespread basis. Hopefully, with increased used of biometrics, identity theft will rapidly decline. Even so, it’s likely that no technological advancement will ever totally eradicate identity theft completely -- at least in the foreseeable future.

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