A Brief History Of Biometric Technology


Regulatory bodies are stringent in implementing data privacy and protection laws. Organizations that store and manage a person’s personally identifiable information or PII are required to ensure these data are well-secured.

For years, criminals have been devising ways on how to get past an enterprise’s security. They perform fraudulent methods like stealing someone else’s password, using someone else’s identity, creating a synthetic identity, and many more. In the digital era, where mobile transactions and remote services are the new norms, bad actors become more creative in their circumvention tactics.

As a result, regulatory agencies develop new requirements or update existing ones to encourage compliance among regulated entities. For example, the European Union recently implemented the revised Payment Services Directive or PSD2, which amends the initial PSD promulgated in 2007.

Under the PSD2 strong customer authentication (SCA) standard, financial institutions are mandated to implement more effective defenses to deter fraudulent attempts. They must replace conventional identity verification methods with multifactor authentication (MFA) that uses a robust combination of authentication credentials.

Organizations may use two or more of the following authentication elements:

  • Something you are or inherence factors like biometrics (fingerprint scans, voice recognition, facial recognition).
  • Something you know or knowledge factors like a password, a PIN, or stored pattern swipe.
  • Something you have or possession factors like a token or cryptographic key.

Suppose regulated enterprises want to ensure better security on their platforms. In that case, they should opt for passwordless authentication that leverages biometric technology and combines it with another authentication credential other than a password. Going passwordless allows organizations to boost their defenses while providing a frictionless experience to their users.

Biometric technology has improved significantly over the years and is presently regarded as a viable replacement for outdated identity verification methods. To know more about the evolution of biometric technology and its role in modern identity authentication, here is an infographic from LoginID.

Biometric Technology: a brief history