Are Biometrics the Answer to Identity Theft?

It might sound futuristic and technologically advanced, but human physiological or behavioral characteristics can be used to identify a specific person. These unique characteristics are known as biometrics. Some biometrics that you might be readily familiar with are fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, voice recognition, or retinal scanning. Biometrics are considered the future of securing an individual’s identity since these physiological characteristics are unique to just a single person. Unlike ID cards or tokens, which can easily be lost or stolen, an individual can’t easily have his or her unique physiological characteristics stolen.


Generally speaking, biometrics are significantly more secure than traditional password protections, ID cards or identification tokens and are rapidly being incorporated into areas of our daily lives where security of one’s identity is important. For example, some major banks are using voice recognition software to verify the identities of customers who are banking over the telephone, and some have incorporated fingerprint scanning into their mobile banking applications, according to the Credit Union Times.


Not only are biometrics a highly reliable and secure way to identify an individual, but it is virtually impossible to ever forget or leave behind your biometrics, whereas when a person’s identification is tied to an easy to forget password or a card that could be misplaced or accidentally left at home, individuals can be locked out of important secured work and life systems that they need access to.


How Secure Are Biometrics?


While biometrics are being hailed as a great way to verify the identity of a person, there is concern about what happens if someone’s biometric data is hacked. When your credit card is lost, or your Social Security number is compromised, you can request a new one. If your online bank accounts are hacked, you can change your password. But if your biometrics are stolen, what then? You can’t simply reset your fingerprints or the characteristics of your face. Biometrics may be very secure, but they are not altogether unhackable.


But how easy would it really be to commit identity theft in a world where biometrics were the leading means for securing one’s identity? An article in Slate Magazine discusses this very topic. Fingerprints can successfully be stolen, molded and then used as one’s own, and some voice recognition systems can be tricked into believing that a recording of a voice is the actual voice it claims to be, it is more difficult to mimic other biometrics such as facial recognition and retinal scanning. Facial recognition and retinal scanning technologies can be tricked with mere photographs of a person’s face or eye.


Contact An Identity Theft Protection Lawyer


The future of identity theft will follow in the footsteps of identity protection technology. If there is a major adoption of biometrics as a means for securing one’s identity, thieves and hackers will figure out new and creative ways to get their hands on this valuable information. If you have reason to believe that your identity has been stolen, you must contact an experienced identity theft protection lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the professionals at the Bromberg Law Office, P.C. to schedule an appointment.