Friday, May 05, 2006

Biometrics Winning Favour Around Globe

Biometrics wins favour from the lazy
By Michael Crawford, Computerworld Today Australia

Users worldwide are starting to accept biometrics out of laziness. The desire for an easy life is over-riding privacy concerns, according to a global survey.

There has been a five percent increase in people who favour the use of biometrics as a preferred method of identity verification, according to a survey of 1661 people worldwide by Unisys. Some 10 percent of individuals in the Asia-Pacific region would even prefer a chip implanted in their body.

Convenience, according to 83 percent of respondents, was the main reason for using biometrics and three quarters (75%) said speedy verification is the main driver for biometric adoption, despite concerns from some privacy activists, and some security experts who believe biometric systems may be less secure.

North American had the highest support for biometrics (71 percent) followed by Europe (69 percent). The Asia-Pacific region including Korea, Taiwan and Japan had approval from 68 percent of respondents.

Terry Hartmann, Unisys' director of secure identification and biometrics, said the research is revealing because privacy advocates question biometric adoption due to privacy concerns, yet the majority of the public seem to prefer it.

"Despite some geographical and cultural differences with certain specifics of the technologies, overall as more and more people learn about biometrics, convenience seems to outweigh other concerns," Hartmann said.

Systems developers and owners must address those concerns so that these technologies can move towards the mainstream on a large scale, with appropriate protection and sensitivity."

"A faster and less frustrating security procedure, like using biometrics, would offer less resistance," Turner said.

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