Amongst the tekkie community there has been some discussion of Google’s proposal to incorporate biometrics into its product line…including Google Glass. For those not familiar with Google Glass, they are a pair of high tech ‘glasses’ or head mounted displays (HMD) that allow the wearer to record what they are seeing and display information in the corner of one of the lenses. Research on developing a wearable HMD began a few years before their release by Google but developers worked on fine tuning their product and Google Glass finally hit the market in April 2013 with a price point of $1,500. Since then this HMD has, by some accounts, been struggling for traction with the buying public. There has been public derision of wearers, used pairs are found online for bargain prices, and third party developers for the glasses have been off and on. Still, Google seems committed to this product and recently information has been made available
they are putting a good deal of resources into incorporating biometrics into this particular product.
Biometrics have been with us for some time. According to FBI.gov, biometrics are defined as “the measurable biological (anatomical and physiological) or behavioral characteristics used for identification of an individual.” They may include, among other things, fingerprints, retina scans or voice recognition. Biometrics are a layer of security that allows only particular people access to an area…usually a high security one. We’ve all seen it in movies when to get access to where the aliens/armagaddon/world ending meteor plans are hidden, you must place your palm on a scanner, or speak a phrase or have your retina scanned.
Such over the top security does indeed have a place and value, but do we really want to provide such personal, really personal, data to some for-profit organizations data bank so that we can use social media, or play a video game? It’s true that biometrics are more secure than a ‘password’ but bear in mind that if your password is hacked you can always make up a new one…your biometrics can’t be changed. Organizations can claim they will protect your personal data with their cyber security, but we’ve heard those reassurances before. So…before you contribute your intimate personal data to someone, remember…once they are out there…they are out there.
Fingerprints & Other Biometrics
Google Glass and Biometrics
Google Wants Biometric Authentication Over Passwords for Glass