Security Market Segment LS
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 20:00

Voice, facial recognition growing in use as security for mobile

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Voice, facial recognition growing in use as security for mobile Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Voice and facial recognition is gaining ground as a major security measure, with more than 600 million mobile devices expected to be using the technology around the world by 2021, according to a new report by Juniper Research.

The study has found that biometric authentication is now ready to move beyond fingerprints alone and use a range of identifiers, from facial recognition to voiceprints and in 2016 alone the technology would have been installed on an estimated 190 million mobile devices, including smartphones and wearables.

Juniper says that demand from businesses for methods that rely less on hardware will raise the profile of newer biometrics over the next five years, in particular voiceprints and facial recognition.

The research firm says these technologies are easier to deploy than fingerprinting, as they do not require dedicated hardware, bringing biometric security to a whole new audience in markets with lower-tier smartphones, with fingerprinting remaining common in more affluent regions.

According to Juniper, the research also found that use cases for biometrics would shift from identification to verification, thanks to the need for increased security of the biometric itself.

“In these cases the biometric is stored and approved on-device and an affirmation sent to a service, rather than the biometric being transmitted and compared to a remotely held record. This is because biometrics cannot be changed like passwords, and so if they are compromised, they are unusable for life,” explains research author James Moar.

“While biometrics offers an increased amount of security and convenience, they need higher levels of protection.

“Establishing best practices for storage and transmission of newer biometrics will be key to ensuring both consumer control over and the security of these most personal data.”

Juniper’s whitepaper — Consumer Biometrics – Skin Deep or Heartfelt? — and more details of the full research can be downloaded here.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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