Biometrics industry professionals are seeing major opportunities for wearables in law enforcement, according to new survey data from Unisys.
The company polled 54 individuals at this year’s Biometrics Institute Asia Pacific Conference, and found considerable enthusiasm for applications of biometric wearable technology in law enforcement and security, with 63 percent agreeing that this “is the most appropriate opportunity to incorporate biometrics into wearable technology”, according to a statement from the company. The company also reports that facial recognition was selected as “the most appropriate biometric modality for wearable technology,” as in the use of a wearable body camera to scan faces. Voice identification was the next most popular modality.
Of course, there’s a flip side to that coin. Seventy-nine percent of respondents to the poll agreed that privacy issues pertaining to cloud-based storage of such biometric data represent “the most significant roadblock to incorporating biometrics into wearable technology”, with Unisys Border and National Security Programs Director John Kendall asserting that “communication about how information is obtained, used and secured, for what purpose and for whose benefit, is key to gaining public acceptance.”
The findings reflect a longstanding trend that has seen biometric identification technologies grow increasingly popular in the security and law enforcement community, but controversial in some applications with respect to privacy rights—the twist being that it’s increasingly taking the form of wearable hardware. As Kendall notes, “Many traditional biometric modalities, such as finger, face, iris and voice, can be readily applied to wearable formats.”