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Cyberfraud victim advocates fear biometrics buyers rushing to deploy

Cyberfraud victim advocates fear biometrics buyers rushing to deploy

Where biometrics is being adopted to protect U.S. consumers, too many deployments are reflexive and poorly thought out, according to an advocate for crime victims.

Much to the chagrin of many biometrics system vendors and integrators, the Identity Theft Resource Center, says in a white paper that “wider adoption of biometrics alone will not reduce all manner of identity crimes.”

A more-reasoned approach is required, according to the center, one that differentiates between facial verification and facial recognition.

The market in the United States (and elsewhere) is new enough and chaotic enough that system buyers don’t always know the difference between verification and recognition. There are costs to this, the center says.

Center executives are pushing verification as an optimal choice for confirming a consumer’s identity, one that may not get enough consideration. Facial recognition, of course, is largely an involuntary government surveillance tool around the world with greater privacy risks compared to verification, which is voluntary.

While some consumers are growing uneasy with the idea of facial recognition, making verification more palatable, another consideration favors verification, too.

One of the best ways to prevent theft of biometric data is to treat the information like a hot potato and drop it as soon as possible. With verification, the data can be recorded, compared and almost immediately deleted.

And verification is an effective tool for fighting fraud that is based on the mountains of stolen data that already exists online.

In the white paper, the center says ID verification, which typically involves comparing government facial images with a live selfie, “will make a significant difference in identity crimes committed with stolen, static data.”

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