10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Biometrics System You Should Know

10 Advantages of Biometrics

Biometric technology is gaining more popularity day by day, all around the world. Biometric solutions are highly accepted by many government agencies, multinational organizations, institutions, banks, and hospitals just to name a few industries. It is growing in every sector including finance, banking, workforce, borders and most rapidly for national identity. Research says that people have more faith on modern biometric technologies rather than on traditional security systems. So, what are the reasons behind the uprising of biometric technologies? Are there any special advantages of biometrics?

Advantages and disadvantages of biometrics.
Advantages and disadvantages of biometrics. Source

Yes, there are numerous benefits of biometrics, to say the least. Let’s find out about the top ten advantages of using biometrics.

1.      Security

We used to have passwords with numbers, alphabets, symbols, etc. which are becoming easy to hack every day. There are zillions of hacking incidents happening every year and we are losing our money constantly. Biometric technology brings different types of solutions which are nearly impossible to hack unlike passwords. This is a great help for us, specifically for business owners who are fighting with security problems for a long time.

2.      Accuracy

Traditional security systems mess up regularly costing us a big amount of time, money and resources. The most common security systems are passwords, personal identification numbers (PINs) and smart cards that aren’t always accurate. However, biometric works with your physical traits such as fingerprints, palm vein, retina amongst others that will always serve you accurately anywhere, anytime.

3.      Accountability

In other verification methods, anybody can use your password or security number to hack your personal information, which is highly risky and we are suffering from this problem continuously. But, in case of biometric security, it needs your direct interactions to login or pass the security system which allows 100% accountability for all your activities.

4.      Convenient

Imagine all the times when you forgot your passwords, quite nerve-wrecking, right? You are not alone. We all have gone through this process where it is hard to memorize or note down each and every password and we are more than likely to forget it at some sticky situations. There are some handy tools to do the job for you, but none of these can beat the convenience of biometric solutions which stands to be the most convenient solution ever. Your credentials are with you forever, so it doesn’t require you to memorize or note down anything.

5.      Scalability

Unlike other solutions, biometrics are highly scalable solutions for all types of projects. Biometric technologies are used in many government projects, banking security systems, workforce management, etc. It is possible because of the scalability of its solutions.

6.      ROI

Biometric solutions will provide you the best ROI compared to other security systems. You can keep track of thousands of employees of a large company with just one biometric device and software. On the other hand, you would need to manage a huge resource to do the same job costing you more time than the appropriate biometric solution.

7.      Flexibility

Definitely biometric systems are the most flexible security solution. You have your own security credentials with you so you don’t need to bother memorizing awkward alphabets, numbers and symbols required for creating a complex password.

8.      Trustable

Reports claim that the young generations trust biometric solutions more than other solutions. Banks have already started using biometric security systems to enhance the security and reliability for their customers.

9.      Save Time

Biometric solutions are highly time conserving. In most cases, you just need to put your finger on a device or look at a retina device to pass the system. On the other hand, traditional methods have layers of hassles and interrogations which become annoying and unbearable.

10. Save Money

Governments are putting their money to create a national biometric database so that government services can be provided to the people with more accuracy and less cost. Corporations are adopting biometric system to get accurate information which saves both time and money. With a little money, any company can track their employees and reduce the extra costs they are paying for years.

It is the age of information technology. Our traditional security systems are going to be outdated day by day. We have to adopt the latest technologies to enhance our security and kick off the burglars. The developed countries including USA, UK, Australia, Canada, etc. know the advantages of biometrics and have already adopted the technology in many phases of public services and continue to adapt to create a more biometrically secure future.

10 Disadvantages of Biometrics


Technology is built to improve the quality of our life. It brings betterments in the way of our life in every aspect. Biometric technology is also a great invention that brings significant changes in our lifestyle. As said, with great power comes even greater responsibility, biometric technology is a good example of this quote. With all the goosebumps surrounding the positive news about biometrics, it also has a dark side of its own. We know very little about the disadvantages of biometrics, compared to its well-known advantages.

While the introduction of biometrics bring many benefits, unfortunately, it also came with its own set of problems. You may want to know the disadvantages of biometrics technology. Here are some key points to consider regarding the disadvantages of biometrics:

1.      Physical Traits are not Changeable:

Most of the biometric modalities work with physical traits such as fingerprint, iris, palm vein, etc. We all have only a pair of eyes; a certain number of fingerprints, and other body parts that are unchangeable. We can reset a password, but we never can change our fingerprints or retina, these are fixed. Our biometric data is stored in respective government’s databases or companies who enable such services.

Can they guarantee that these data will never be hacked or stolen from the server? Unfortunately, it is already happening around us. There are news about data breach of billions of Indians’ private data from the Aadhaar database. A large-scale breach took place at the Federal Government Office of Personal Management in US where 5.6 million workers’ fingerprints were stolen in 2015. You can change your password if it is stolen, but you have no option to change your fingerprint in anyway.

2.      Error Rate:

Biometric machines are less than perfect and mistakes can happen. Usually, biometric devices make two types of errors, False Acceptance Rate (FAR) and False Rejection Rate (FRR). When the device accepts an unauthorized person, it is known as FAR and when it rejects an authorized person, it is known as FRR.

The error rate in some cases are so high that it creates great chaos for the entire security system. It could happen due to weather, physical condition, age and other issues. A turmoil could happen with an error rate of as low as 1% in a large-scale authentication process.

3.      Cost:

The cost of biometric devices are comparatively higher than other traditional security devices. The costs of biometric software, devices, programmers, server and other relative equipment combined is a large amount of money.

4.      Delay:

Some biometric devices take more than the accepted time and a long queue of workers form waiting to be enrolled in large companies. In these cases, people get hard time while scanning the biometric device every day. It is hard for a person when he/she has to go through a biometric verification system before entering into school, office or other places every day.

5.      Complexity:

One of the biggest disadvantages of biometrics is the highly technical and complex system that makes up the whole process. A non-techy person will be flopping like fish out of water when trying to understand the system. Companies hire highly experienced and skilled programmers to develop the system, so it requires programmers for managing the system as well.

6.      Unhygienic:

There are various types of biometric modalities. Some of them are contact based like fingerprint and palm vein scanner; some are contactless like iris and face recognition, etc. In contact-based modalities, a biometric device is used a zillion times by enormous amount of people.

Everyone is actually sharing their germs with each other via the device. You never know what you are taking with you after placing your finger on the device. You wouldn’t have any option to change the system.

7.      Scanning Difficulty:

Some biometric modalities like iris scan can go through scanning difficulties. It happens due to several reasons including eyelashes, eyelids, lens and reflections from the cornea. For these reasons, iris scanning may not be as reliable for use.

8.      Physical Disability:

Some people aren’t fortunate enough to be able to participate in the enrollment process. They might have lost or damaged body parts such as fingers or eyes. In this type of case, a fingerprint/ Iris recognition device to recognize would be embarrassing and simply offensive. These types of people will surely pass a hard time to cope up with others in the system.

9.      Environment and Usage Matters:

Environment and usage can affect the overall measurements taken. Especially in highly cold areas, the error rate is higher which creates unnecessary chaos and disappointments over the whole system.

10. Additional Hardware Integration:

Some biometric modalities need additional hardware integration which is costly, inconvenient and complex. It is hard to manage these types of modalities.

People hardly talk about the disadvantages of biometrics despite all of its obvious drawbacks. We all will ride the bandwagon of biometrics today or tomorrow for sure, but before that we should be careful of this technology. The possibilities of biometric technologies shouldn’t be washed away for these few reasons. We hope that with the advent of technology, these problems will be solved and we will get a hassle free biometric technology for daily life usages in the future.

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