Unisys: Law Enforcement Provides Key Opportunity to Integrate Biometrics Into Wearable Tech

UnisysA Unisys study predicts that law enforcement would lead the integration of biometrics into wearable technology in order to identify known or suspected criminals and terrorists.

The company polled 54 biometrics professionals at the Biometrics Institute Asia Pacific Conference in Australia from May 24 to 26 for the study, Unisys said Tuesday.

The survey indicates that 63 percent of biometric professionals believe missions to pinpoint criminals and terrorists are the most “appropriate” opportunity for the introduction of biometrics into wearable technology.

Only 19 percent of the respondents expressed support for the use of smart watches for payment authentication and 14 percent agreed to the use of biometrics to control access to data collected via wearable devices.

“While biometrics have become cheaper, more accurate and easier to use, the lack of revolutionary change in capture technology has constrained both the types of applications that employ biometrics and types of biometrics used in those applications,” said John Kendall, director for border and national security programs at Unisys.

Fifty-two percent of the respondents cited wristbands as the most suitable format for biometrics technology, 19 percent mentioned watches and 15 percent pointed to lapel badges, while facial recognition and voice identification are the top two modalities, the survey says.

Seventy-nine percent of respondents said privacy concerns over biometrics data stored in the cloud pose a key challenge to the integration of biometrics into wearable technology, according to the survey.

“As with most security measures, communication about how information is obtained, used and secured, for what purpose and for whose benefit, is key to gaining public acceptance,” Kendall added.

Future opportunity areas include biosensors in smart clothing and other formats to access emerging biometrics data such as electrical activity in brainwaves and the heart.

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