When it comes to verifying someone’s identity, biometric technologies have become increasingly commonplace. Some biometric solutions include fingerprint authentication, iris and retina recognition, face verification, and voice recognition. Biometric technologies have increased in use in recent years for a variety of reasons, including:
- They are convenient: Reducing friction is the name of the game when it comes to identity verification. Biometrics can scan identity so, rather than remembering long, complicated passwords is easy, convenient and increases customer satisfaction.
- They are accountable: Biometric technologies need subjects to interact directly to pass through security systems. This means you cannot later renounce an action you have taken because you are 100% accountable for your activities.
- They are secure: Biometrics are relatively hard to fake since they are unique to everyone. For the average consumer, they can rest assured that their biometrics will not be used for nefarious purposes that they are not aware of.
Oftentimes the terms biometric authentication and biometric identification are used interchangeably. Truthfully though, these are two very different things. It is important to understand the difference between the two and how they are related to verifying the identity of a person.
Biometric authentication is a type of identity verification where the question, “Are you who you say you are?” is answered. This type of question is usually asked in digital scenarios where proof of identity is needed such as applying for a financial loan online.
Biometric identification, on the other hand, is a type of identity verification where the question, “Who are you?” is answered. This applies to both digital and non-digital scenarios where a company or government entity needs to identify a person based on biometric information available to them.