Biometric Authentication Risks for Self-Service Kiosks

Author: Source Technologies

With more and more iPhone and iPad users getting used to simply using their fingerprint to unlock devices, it begs the question: why aren’t more companies adding this technology to their products?

Facial recognition, fingerprint, palm and retina scans are all forms of biometric authentication that the public has either used or seen in movies or on TV. However, incorporating this type of technology into our self-service kiosks and other publicly-accessible products presents challenges.


Biometrics Authentication: The Way it Works

Biometric authentication is a great user experience and provides effortless convenience. When a user walks up to a reader and inputs raw biometrics data in the form of fingerprints, face scans or voice recognition, for example, the information is simply analog data. This biometric data remains analog data until a biometric system converts it to digital data that a computer can then process. This data must be stored somewhere.

The convenience of biometric authentication is only worthwhile as long as the data being stored remains secure and untapped. For single-user devices, like an iPhone, this data can be stored on the local device, and Apple can ensure no one, not even Apple itself, has rights to access the biometric data. However, at Source Technologies, our self-service kiosks are accessible to multiple users.  Including biometric authentication on our kiosks would present a series of security risks.


Biometric Authentication: The Risks

At Source Technologies, our commitment to security ranks highest of all. So, when a new technology like biometric authentication presents challenges to keeping customers secure, we spend countless hours evaluating the risks before determining the feasibility of incorporating it into our product line.

In order to make biometric authentication scalable for our self-service kiosk users, we would have to store biometric identification information in a central database. This puts our customers at risk of identity fraud by malicious users. With biometric identification linked to credit card, banking and other critical identity information, hackers could gain access to financial information via biometric data. So, for now, the risks of biometric authentication far outweigh the convenience factor.

To learn more about how Source Technologies addresses biometric authentication and other technology topics, contact us today!