Brits Prefer Passwords Over Biometric Data

Research by GMX has shown that nearly a third of Brits still prefer to use passwords over biometric data.

22% of those asked, said they preferred finger print recognition, but stressed they weren’t keen on advanced biometrics, such as iris scans (4%), facial (1%) and voice recognition (1%).

According to GMX, 30% of respondents had at least 10 different online accounts, with a further 43% feeling overwhelmed by the number of passwords they had to remember. Alarmingly, 8% feel that remembering their passwords was more stressful than changing jobs or getting a divorce.

This stress impacts how often people get locked out of online accounts: 19% said that they get locked out of an account at least once a month because of multiple incorrect attempts to access it. Given the choice between Single Sign-On services (where you can log in with any device – laptop, PC, smartphone, etc.) or a password manager (where each service has to be logged in separately with its own password), 32% preferred Single Sign-On, while 24% chose password managers.

Jan Oetjen, Managing Director of GMX said:

“This survey shows positive signs that consumers are ready to accept biometric authentication once their data privacy concerns have been met, so it’s up to the providers to meet those privacy demands by demonstrating that they are complying with all the relevant laws. The combination of convenience and data protection will create further demand for biometric security.”

You can’t blame people for having concerns, when recent media reports have shown how cyber criminals are using fake voices to confuse biometric systems and steal cash.

Symantec said it has seen three cases of seemingly deep faked audio of different Chief Executives used to trick senior financial controllers into transferring cash.

Deepfakes use artificial intelligence to create convincing fake footage, due to the huge amount of audio clips Chief Executives have made publicly available.

Dr Hugh Thompson, Chief Technology Officer at Symantec, said:

“Corporate videos, earning calls, media appearances as well as conference keynotes and presentations would all be useful for fakers looking to build  model of someone’s voice.”

It is thought that the resistance around biometric authentication is due to the perception that people’s data and privacy still isn’t secure. As technology advances and biometric autenthication becomes more secure, it is something that could be implemented more heavily in modern society.

How do you prefer to access your devices? Are biometric systems the way forward, or should we still stick to passwords?