Fingerprint and Face Scanners Aren’t as Secure as We Think They Are

Your biometric template data are permanently and uniquely linked to you. The exposure of that data to hackers could seriously compromise user privacy and the security of a biometric system. (source: The Conversation)

Your biometric template data are permanently and uniquely linked to you. The exposure of that data to hackers could seriously compromise user privacy and the security of a biometric system. (source: The Conversation)

March 11, 2019 | Source: The Conversation, theconversation.com, Wencheng Yang & Song Wang, 5 March 2019

Despite what every spy movie in the past 30 years would have you think, fingerprint and face scanners used to unlock your smartphone or other devices aren’t nearly as secure as they’re made out to be.

While it’s not great if your password is made public in a data breach, at least you can easily change it. If the scan of your fingerprint or face – known as “biometric template data” – is revealed in the same way, you could be in real trouble. After all, you can’t get a new fingerprint or face.

Your biometric template data are permanently and uniquely linked to you. The exposure of that data to hackers could seriously compromise user privacy and the security of a biometric system.

Current techniques provide effective security from breaches, but advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are rendering these protections obsolete.