University of Massachusetts Memorial Heath Care recently implemented an online system that grants patients access to their own confidential information using biometrics ID information. This system is respected for its security, scalability and ease of use.

“Biometric based authentication solutions…cure a pain point that has plagued healthcare and other markets: lengthy and hard to remember passwords.”

While biometric systems are, in many ways, giant leaps forward in ensuring user authenticity, the process has its limitations.

Apple ran into a glitch when its facial recognition system could not parse apart similar looking family members. To solve this issue, the company has developed sub-epidermal imaging, which involves identifying networks of blood vessels just below the skin.

The alluring convenience (not to mention the cool factor) in using biometric security systems competes with the fact that, once biometric data has been breached, it’s compromised forever. A person cannot modify the structure of his/her jawbone with the same dexterity used to modify a password. For this reason, annoying salads of letters, numbers and symbols may ultimately yield greater security than biometric passcodes.

“…we as individuals don’t control the collection, storage or proxy bits of our identity,” SecurityInfoWatch points out. While individuals may keep their fingerprints to themselves, corporations may knowingly or unknowingly share them, potentially jeopardizing a person’s security.

To help bring oversight to the use of biometrics in counter-terrorism efforts, The United Nations published a guide outlining best practices. Ethically conscientious organizations would do well to do the same, and to publicize this development, building trust among consumers.

Learn more at SecurityInfoWatch.