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A Brief History of Biometric Technology

Effective online identity verification is paramount to ensure that enterprises interact only with legitimate users. Various organizations implement different identity verification technologies, but these methods are not equal in protecting against digital threats. Some require a username and password combination before granting access to an online account. This method is among the oldest and widely used in digital security and relies on the premise that only the real user knows the information.

However, with the advancement of technology and the persistence of fraud, passwords have proven ineffective in confirming a person’s claimed identity. Bad actors can use someone else’s password to infiltrate their account and use it for fraudulent purposes. Because of this, many have shifted to using multifactor authentication (MFA) that leverages biometric technology.

MFA uses a combination of authentication factors such as inherence factors (something you are like fingerprint scans or facial recognition), possession factors (something you own like cryptographic keys), and knowledge factors (something you know like stored pattern swipes).

MFA provides a multi-layered barrier against fraudulent attempts. A user cannot access their account or consent to transactions without providing all the necessary credentials. Moreover, this mobile identity verification method is not easily susceptible to fraudulent attempts used against passwords.

In addition, biometric technology has improved significantly, becoming ubiquitous as most modern mobile devices are typically manufactured with built-in sensors to support biometric scans. In the digital age, mobile transactions and remote services are becoming the norm, making the need for better digital security more imperative than ever.

Having biometric technology at the palm of one’s hand used to be something people could only imagine. It has come a long way from being only a tool used by the government to becoming a publicly available technology integrated into common smartphones. This infographic from LoginID details the history of biometric technology.

Biometric Technology: a brief history

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