Biometrics and Access Control on the Move: A New Era

biometrics for access control is evolving

New developments in biometric identification management technology now allow access control on the fly.

The following guest post was submitted by Sarah Smith on behalf of The Real Estate Academy of Australia. Sarah is a small business owner, and is currently learning about marketing and using the internet. Aside from working on her own business, she likes to use social media, and read travel books.






Story Behind Latest Innovation to Hit Real Estate Development

Last summer FST21 America LLC, a biometric security startup company, raised five million dollars to develop and market the company’s facial, voice, and behavioral recognition technology designed to replace security desks at building entry points and eliminate access systems, e.g., existing key card readers, etc. FST21 founder Aharon Ze’evi-Farkash, former head of the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate, has applied his knowledge base to the use of existing residential and office security hardware in buildings. Patented technology, developed over several years, scans people as they move toward doorways and unlocks and relocks access in less than two seconds. People not in a building’s FST21 database are denied access. The company has working systems in the U.S., e.g., schools, corporations, homeowners, and managers of residential housing.

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Are Mobile Payments Headed Towards Biometrics and the Cloud?

cloud based mobile biometrics

Mobile payments and cloud adoption are on the rise in the banking industry, and mobile biometrics technology can help the industry to effectively secure mobile device transactions through the cloud bringing convenience to customers.

The global world of retail payments is rapidly advancing technologically, giving rise to many future possibilities to authenticate transactions and more efficiently allowing the banking industry to securely attract and connect with customers. It is now possible for an individual to make payments on the move via mobile devices, enjoy access to multiple payment methods and currency options, and feel secure in the knowledge that their sensitive data is protected due to new sophisticated technologies like cloud and mobile biometrics, which were developed to combat fraudulent activity.

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Impact of Recent Court Order Request to Unlock iPhone with Biometrics

the use of biometrics on smartphones raises questions about the legality of asking people to submit their biometric credentials to unlock the device

A recent court ruling on the legality of submitting individual biometric credentials to unlock a smartphone favors the legal system.

The following guest post was submitted by The Carter Capner Group, a law firm serving Queensland and the Australian city of Brisbane.

Many people such as personal injury and compensation lawyers Carter Capner have confidential information on their smartphones. Thanks to advances in technology, people no longer need to rely on a password to protect their sensitive data. It is now possible to lock a cell phone with the owner’s fingerprint. This eliminates the possibility of a hacker figuring out the password to access the contents of the phone. It is this exact fingerprint technology that was the subject of a case in Virginia criminal court last November. In this case, a key ruling was made that will now make it easier for law enforcement officials to gather evidence that is contained on a smartphone. The judge ruled that criminal defendants can now be legally compelled to open their phone for police if it has been locked using a fingerprint recognition program. One would imagine this ruling will also carry over and apply to other devices such as tablets, laptops and PCs.

Circuit Court Judge Steven C. Frucci is the person responsible for the ruling. He stated that a suspect providing their fingerprint should be considered no different in the eyes of the law than a suspect being compelled to provide a sample of their handwriting or DNA, both of which are already perfectly legal. However, it should be noted that it is not legal to compel a suspect to reveal his or her password for a device or program. This is because a person’s password is considered to be knowledge or “testimonial” in the eyes of the law. The reason a person can not be legally forced to reveal his or her password is because The Fifth Amendment protects people from forced self-incrimination. What this basically means is that if a person uses both a password and their fingerprint to lock their phone, a court cannot compel the person to unlock it.

Even though fingerprints have been an important tool in criminal investigations for many decades, they have not been used as part of a locking system for smartphones and other electronic devices until recently. While it may seem like the use of a fingerprint or a password to lock a smartphone is fundamentally the same thing, devices locked with fingerprints will now be easily accessible by the courts.

An attorney named Marcia Hofmann wrote an article in Wired magazine in which she described a hypothetical example designed to demonstrate the way virtual and physical locks are protected or not protected by The Fifth Amendment. While a court is not legally permitted to compel a person to reveal a combination lock’s combination, they can compel a person to hand over the key to a safe that contains evidence that is potentially incriminating.

The ruling made by Judge Frucci regarding smartphone biometrics as they relate to criminal cases has been controversial to say the least. It is safe to say that we have not heard the last word on this issue. Additional courts will inevitably weigh in on the issue of whether or not a person’s fingerprints should have Fifth Amendment protection. Needless to say, this ruling basically means a person’s right to privacy is non-existent if they choose to use a fingerprint locking program for their smartphone or other device. It has opened up a Pandora’s Box and it is anyone’s guess when it will close. This ruling could also have a negative impact on the popularity of biometric locking devices moving forward. However, it also demonstrates the need for people to use their fingerprint along with a password to make their device totally secure.

New Deloitte Report Indicates Biometrics in Banking Could Help Secure Mobile Transactions

biometrics in banking is on the rise

The use of biometrics in banking is increasing as more consumers understand its potential and become more familiar with the technology.

The Deloitte Center for Financial Services released a report that indicates eroding consumer confidence in the security of mobile financial service applications has forced the industry to take a closer look at incorporating technologies such as biometrics to help alleviate fears and insecurities. The report seems right on cue following our post last week about the need for the financial services and banking industries to more closely assess the use of biometrics for customer and employee ID and to better secure mobile devices while engaging in transactions.

A link to the full report can be found here and it presents some very interesting statistical data culled from a recent survey Deloitte launched to ask consumers about their comfort level with using mobile banking apps. A few of the highlights:

  • Many (banking customers) are hesitant to use mobile services due to concerns over security, privacy, and ease of use.
  • Mobile is increasingly becoming the primary method of interaction with their financial services providers.
  • Should the at-home mobile experience that financial services companies offer be different from out-of-home experiences, where there is perhaps greater concern about security and privacy? 
  • (Consumers) placed a much higher value on the ability to interact using mobile devices with their banks than with other financial providers.
  • For many consumers, when it comes to conducting financial services over mobile devices, the advantages and conveniences offered by smartphones and tablets are being trumped by more negative considerations about the devices themselves and data security.
  • 61% of those who do not regularly use mobile devices for financial services cited security issues as the prime reason.
  • 3 in 10 respondents said that security issues had prompted them to severely restrict the use of mobile devices for financial services.
  • 72% would appreciate the use of biometric identification in banking (such as fingerprints or eye scans) to enable a device for financial services transactions.
  • Biometrics is another mobile device capability that financial services companies could leverage to make customer interactions easier and more secure.
  • Nearly 2/3 of smartphone users said they would find it valuable to use biometric identification (fingerprint, voice scan, or iris scan) on mobile devices for ATM transactions and payments.

It is clear that the proliferation of biometric identification capabilities on smart devices has brought the technology more into the mainstream helping consumers to develop a higher comfort level to use it and more importantly, understanding why and how biometrics in banking is a natural evolution of securing online transactions. However, there is still trust to be built in using biometrics in banking on mobile devices to secure transactions. The report states:

“However, the comfort level with biometric security and encryption decreases as the amount of the transaction increases. For instance, the proportion of consumers who are comfortable with this technology drops from 26 percent for a transaction size of $1,000 to only 11 percent for a transaction worth $10,000. This finding illustrates that biometric solutions may be more successful for smaller transactions. As consumers gain experience with biometrics, they might then be more willing to use them for larger payments.”

What’s clear is that not only is biometrics in banking an opportunity for the industry to leverage existing smart device capabilities to boost security, but the use of biometrics is also an opportunity to better engage consumers and build trust – two critical pillars of quality service, customer retention, and spreading positive word of mouth.

Thanks to the staff at the Deloitte Center for Financial Services for their research and reporting. Extremely interesting insight into the rising use of biometrics in banking and an opportunity to truly understand consumer sentiment when it comes to their perceptions of whether mobile banking is appropriate for their use.

Do you feel that biometrics in banking has a place to help increase security and build trust with consumers?



New Video Highlights Need for Tighter Border Control Security

Protect your nation's borders with SecuredPass - the biometric identification management border control solution from M2SYS Technology

The need to protect a nation’s borders requires investments in biometric identification management border control solutions.

Implementing tighter security systems to protect a nation’s borders has increasingly found itself in the cross hairs of many countries around the world. Marked increases in cross-border terrorist and criminal activity has prompted many governments to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their existing internal control systems and forced some to seek more sophisticated, modern border control systems that leverage the use of biometric identification.

Protecting a nation’s borders from the illegal movement of weapons, drugs, contraband, and people, while promoting lawful entry and exit, is essential to national security, economic prosperity, and national sovereignty. The dynamics of the world we live in today requires the deployment of sophisticated technology to match pace with the amount of illegal activity that threatens the security and freedom of countries around the world. The ability to adopt and implement a salient border control system that can quickly and accurately confirm traveler identity to confirm someone is who they claim to be is an essential element of national security.

M2SYS designed and built our SecuredPass™ border control biometric identificaton management solution to offer user-friendly dashboard navigation and provide a multi-tasking environment to maximize employee productivity. Border management agencies can use the M2SYS SecuredPASS™ identification to quickly and accurately confirm traveler identity to verify that someone is who they claim to be. SecuredPass features an intuitive, user-friendly dashboard navigation that can be customized to meet the unique needs of any deployment including country specific standards and provides end users the ability to easily multitask. Plus, it offers high powered searching capability in a one to many environment, and unlimited possibilities for system expansion.

Take a look at the video below for more details.