ONLY ON KOLD: Biometrics Boom - Tucson News Now

ONLY ON KOLD: Biometrics Boom

Posted: Updated:
  • Most ReadMost ReadMore>>

  • Union Pacific working to get train cars back on track near Picacho Peak

    Union Pacific working to get train cars back on track near Picacho Peak

    Union Pacific working to get train cars back on track near Picacho Peak

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 11:22 AM EDT2014-09-16 15:22:35 GMT
    Crews are still working to clear the tracks after an overnight derailment in Pinal County. There were no injuries reported and nothing hazardous was on the train cars. Authorities say the track could be cleared up of cars by noon.
    Crews are still working to clear the tracks after an overnight derailment in Pinal County. There were no injuries reported and nothing hazardous was on the train cars. Authorities say the track could be cleared up of cars by noon.
  • Ocean Springs mom warning parents about app

    Ocean Springs mom warning parents about app

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 10:00 AM EDT2014-09-16 14:00:09 GMT
    An Ocean Springs mom is sending a warning to South Mississippi parents. Katrina Johnson wants every parent to be aware of an app that she says is being used by many students to spread hate.
    An Ocean Springs mom is sending a warning to South Mississippi parents. Katrina Johnson wants every parent to be aware of an app that she says is being used by many students to spread hate. Johnson discovered the posts last week, and she says what she read would make parents cringe.
  • Are you prepared for an emergency?

    Are you prepared for an emergency?

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:58 AM EDT2014-09-16 12:58:01 GMT
    September is National Preparedness Month and officials are giving a list of the basics that the public should always have on hand in case of an emergency. Always have water, a battery powered flashlight and a first aid kit and have them on hand before an emergency hits. 
    September is National Preparedness Month and officials are giving a list of the basics that the public should always have on hand in case of an emergency. Always have water, a battery powered flashlight and a first aid kit and have them on hand before an emergency hits. 
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The futuristic high-tech security devices that only appeared in secret agent movies are now being rolled out for consumer use in everyday life.

People can access their online bank accounts with their fingerprint or even use facial recognition to unlock a smart phone, but how does it all work and will the new technology spark concerns about privacy?

With a scan of his fingerprint, blood donor Bill Heron is instantly identified at his blood bank, no photo ID is required.

"All I have to do is put my finger on the pad and they have all my information and off we go," said Heron.

Sophisticated biometric security devices work by measuring things that are "unique" to each individual person, like a fingerprint, a voice, a person's face or even an eye.

"Clearly the future is now, and it is coming to life," said BIO-Key International's Michael DePasquale.

From checking-in to work, to buying lunch at school and even entering theme parks, this new technology is already a part of everyday life for many.

Soon more computers, phones and tablets will be equipped with finger scanners which can allow access to someone's PayPal account and even their medical records with a simple swipe.

"Consumers are overwhelmed today by passwords, pins and cards that they have to use to access all the things that are available to us now and they're no longer secure but, more importantly, they're becoming very inconvenient," said DePasquale.

Industry experts said most devices don't save actual scans or fingerprints, but instead they're digitally reconfigured and only reference points are kept.

Heron's blood bank said that their system uses multi-layer triple encryption to keep everything private.

"It ensures that no one can intercept or modify this secure information over the Internet or network," said Jayne Giroux. "It's virtually impossible for anybody to steal your identity without your biometric finger data."

So are there any privacy issues? David Jacobs of EPIC Consumer Protection Counsel doesn't believe so.

"I don't think it's concerning or alarming, so long as there are protections in place and consumers are notified about how this information is going to being used and they're assured that the data is stored securely," said Jacobs.

Still, privacy advocates said they're keeping a close watch on how this technology evolves because nothing is hacker proof.

"In the near future biometric information could be as useful for identify theft as a social security number," said Jacobs. "It could even be more problematic because if your credit card number is compromised the bank can just issue you a new credit card, but it can't issue you a new iris."

Heron said that the new technology has made his life easier and he isn't worried at all about the safety of his information.

"I think it's a cool idea," said Heron.

Anyone who still has concerns about using biometrics should be sure to ask what personal information is stored and if that information is shared.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

 

  • Special ReportsMore>>

  • ONLY ON KOLD: Crossing the line

    ONLY ON KOLD: Crossing the line

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:19 AM EDT2014-07-30 05:19:04 GMT
    This has exploded into what's arguably the biggest immigration story in the world today and Tucson is right in the middle of it. Som Lisaius reports.
    This has exploded into what's arguably the biggest immigration story in the world today and Tucson is right in the middle of it. Som Lisaius reports.
  • ONLY ON KOLD: Cartel lookout homes revealed

    ONLY ON KOLD: Cartel lookout homes revealed

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:25 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:25:04 GMT
    The border crisis has all eyes on the surge of illegal immigrants pouring into Texas with transports coming to Southern Arizona.
    The border crisis has all eyes on the surge of illegal immigrants pouring into Texas with transports coming to Southern Arizona.
  • ONLY ON KOLD: Flood dangers

    ONLY ON KOLD: Flood dangers

    Tuesday, July 8 2014 3:25 PM EDT2014-07-08 19:25:23 GMT

    Flood dangers range from a threat to your family, to your home, to your wallet. Find out what risk you face and what the price for coverage could be.

    Flood dangers range from a threat to your family, to your home, to your wallet. Find out what risk you face and what the price for coverage could be.

Powered by WorldNow