US consumers still ‘split’ on biometric security
02 July 2015 16:12 GMT

A sizeable section of US consumers remain unconvinced by biometrics as a security measure, underlining the need for better industry outreach, says Unisys in an annual report on security and advanced threats.

In a detailed section on “Biometrics for Smartphone Data Security”, the Unisys report found that about 38% respondents viewed biometrics as effective. However, 37% were unsure and 25% said that biometrics were not.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

“Perceptions concerning the effectiveness of biometrics for smartphone protection are split in the US,“ wrote the report, which was based on 1,016 completed interviews among nationally representative adults, 18 and above.

“My personal interpretation of these findings are that the industry can do more to educate consumers about biometrics and their effectiveness as an authentication mechanism compared to other techniques such as one-factor and two-factor authentication,” wrote Nick Evans, vice president and general manager within the Office of the CTO at Unisys, in a blog about the report.

“As biometrics get seamlessly integrated into mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay, it’s important to educate the consumer about what’s happening behind the scenes. In addition, it’s important to educate consumers about the full scope of what goes into protecting their personal information, with biometric authentication being just a small part of the overall solution.”

The survey also found that concern about cybersecurity is high in certain US industry sectors, particularly retail, government and telecom. Depending upon the type of organization, the expectation that a security breach was likely within the next 12 months ranged from 21 percent for utilities to nearly half (44 percent) for retailers.

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