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Trust issues hamper adoption of biometrics, says Incode report

Trust issues hamper adoption of biometrics, says Incode report

Trust is a key issue with biometric technology, but it is not in the tech itself that the responsibility lies — nor the concern. New research from Incode suggests that, despite increasing preference for biometric options, customers still have major concerns about what companies do with their biometric data.

“Even as many companies announce plans to shift their consumer-facing apps and services to ‘passwordless’, consumer adoption of biometrics has not rounded the curve,” according to the Consumer Pulse on Biometrics Report. “Consumers expressed distrust that companies will actually protect their individual privacy when using biometrics.”

A majority of respondents to a report survey agreed that digital authentication improves customer experience for transactions such as online payments. Likewise, 62 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that biometric authentication helps prevent fraud, and 58 percent said it made logging in simpler and easier.

Across industries, including finance, travel, sports and hospitality, respondents said they “would like to see more use cases and features for digital authentication and biometrics solutions.”

So, while the demand and technology exist, there are still hearts and minds to be won. The report shows that 38 percent of respondents listed compromised privacy as the main hurdle to adopting biometrics. And it does not undercut the challenge of changing this perception, emphasizing in its analysis that ID verifiers must prioritize data privacy and security, and observe best practices in creating and deploying facial recognition.

“The proliferation of facial recognition technologies that were quick to market without the appropriate privacy checks were a deterrent to consumer adoption and created a huge undercurrent,” according to the report. “To regain consumer trust, biometrics app and service providers will have to deploy next-generation, privacy-powered models and the highest industry standards for facial recognition and fraud prevention.”

Passwords cited as the biggest pain

Almost half of respondents to Incode’s survey said eliminating passwords was the best benefit of digital authentication. In addition to providing a faster and more seamless experience, digital authentication cuts out the most annoying part of passwords: having to remember them. At 47 percent, “not having to remember a password” was ranked as the main benefit of passwordless authentication, topping privacy and fraud protection.

This month, Google published a farewell to passwords to mark the introduction of passkeys as a login option for Google accounts, in keeping with a wider industry trend to move away from passwords.

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