Studies show British and American public prefer passwords to biometrics

August 22, 2016 - 

Both British and American people prefer to use traditional passwords over biometric technologies, according to two separate studies conducted by market research firm YouGov on behalf of email providers GMX and mail.com.

In a study commissioned by GMX, researchers found that more than 60 percent of the UK public would rather use passwords than biometric logins while more than 40 percent do not want companies to have any access to their biometric data.

“The survey shows that biometric log-in methods are far from becoming a mass market,” said Jan Oetjen, CEO of GMX. “In order to meet the concerns of the users, providers have to fulfill high data protection requirements concerning the storage and use of biometrical data.”

The study also showed that 15 percent of the survey’s 2,000 respondents used fingerprint authentication, while less than 5 percent of people used facial, voice and iris recognition.

Forty-one percent of respondents said they are afraid that a malfunction in the biometric technology will leave them locked out of their own accounts, while one-third of people said they are concerned that their biometric information could be compromised by criminals.

In addition, 26 percent of the survey’s 1,119 respondents said that biometric data makes a good complement to traditional passwords, while only five percent believed that biometric logins are 100 percent risk-free.

In another study conducted on behalf of US email provider mail.com, YouGov analysts found that 58 percent of Americans prefer traditional passwords to biometric log-in methods.

The survey found that 10 percent of respondents use fingerprint recognition, making it the most widely used biometric authentication method.

Meanwhile, only two percent of survey respondents said that they prefer using iris, face, or voice recognition technologies.

The study found that 42 percent of Americans do not want companies to collect, save and use their personal data, 42 percent said they are worried about not being able to access their online accounts in case of a malfunction, and nearly one-third are concerned about online criminals thwarting biometric authentication methods.

Finally, 22 percent of Americans think that biometric login methods are good when combined with manual methods like passwords and PIN entry, and only nine percent said that they find the use of biometric data free of risk.

“The survey shows that biometric login methods are far from becoming a mass market,” said mail.com CEO Jan Oetjen. “Nevertheless, for more security throughout the internet it is very important that alternative authentication methods like biometry are being further researched. In order to meet the concerns of users, providers have to fulfill high data protection requirements concerning the storage and use of biometrical data.”

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.