Pros and Cons of Biometrics

The field of biometrics is a polarizing and controversial topic, with multiple voices debating the advantages and merits of the technology. Many of the discussions have focused on hypothetical, deeply technical and philosophical issues. Is iris scanning better than hand geometry? Will people ever get over the social stigma of getting their finger prints taken? Are central government databases of everyone’s biometric data a prelude to the worst kind of Orwellian dystopia?

We don’t know….

What we do know are a few simpler things about the state of biometrics today.  Namely, what are today’s biometric systems good at? What are they bad at? Why? These practical questions haven’t been covered with nearly the same volume of ink as the larger issues, but we think that straightforward questions deserve an honest attempt at straightforward answers. That’s what this article will try to do in high-level, non-technical terms. Read the conclusions for our quick appraisal of the industry below, or continue reading for more details. 

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