Having a password on our devices to keep our data away from prying eyes has been a part of personal tech for a very long time. But the age of passwords and pins is shifting to biometric security – that is tech that can recognize your face, voice, DNA, fingerprint, and other physical features that make you you. Biometrics in everyday tech has really been around since Apple first showed off Touch ID in 2013, and since then, the global market for mobile biometrics has grown to over $14 billion. Nowadays many aspects of our lives can be controlled by biometrics. Nearly half of people have authenticated a payment with biometrics, most won’t use banking apps that lack biometric authentication. Over ¾ use biometrics to unlock their mobile devices, whether they be phones, tablets, or even tablets. People use biometrics as compared to traditional passwords and pins because they feel it is easier to use and more secure.
But biometric security goes beyond just physical identifiers, though physical identifiers are a big part of biometrics. Physical identifiers, such as fingerprints, facial features, retinal patterns, and vocal and speech patterns can all be spoofed relatively easily, but biometrics go beyond that. Biometrics can even identify who you are by your device usage patterns, the angle in which you hold your phone, how often you check your social media accounts, and even finger movements and gestures.
Hollywood makes hacking biometrics look easy. In Diamonds Are Forever, Sean Connery uses a fake fingerprint to fool a scanner. In Sneakers, Robert Redford hacks voice recognition with a tape of the passphrase and in Gattaca, Ethan Hawke bypasses a DNA scan with a drop of blood.
With how easily it seems to be able to fool biometrics, find out how we can make biometrics easier to use and harder to crack here: