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Biometric verification, from fiction to reality

BLOG POST     JUL 24, 2023   |  4 MIN

JUL 24, 2023   |  4 MIN

In the past, biometric technology was not widely available. However, biometric technology has become a vital component of cybersecurity.

You probably remember those very famous early James Bond movies where 007 would find himself on a dangerous mission where he would need to enter a place with extreme security that can only be accessed via facial recognition or any other type of biometric verification. 

Back when this technology was first shown, almost no one knew what biometrics were. We would only know that regular folks were not able to enter none of those places by just putting their eye inside a machine that would scan their retina or recognize their unique facial features.

However, in the present, this has changed. Biometrics are not just available to almost anyone, but it is now a vital part of cybersecurity for both big and small companies. And of course, biometrics is still very useful to James Bond – but now we are not as shocked as we used to be. 

Accessible biometrics to everyone

Since the end of 2013, Apple allowed us to be “little 007 agents” by launching their first iPhone with Touch ID. This device allowed us to unlock the new phone with a fingerprint, after registering it.

It was at that exact moment when biometrics stopped being part of fictional movies to become something of everyday use. Even though, back then most of us didn’t know how pivotal that moment was.

Now, those James Bond or superhero movies don’t surprise us anymore, because we know that biometric technology is reachable. It is part of our reality, and that really is amazing.

So, what is biometrics?

Biometrics (from the Greek bio: life, and metron: measure) it’s defined as the measurement and statistical analysis of people’s unique physical and behavioral characteristics. The technology is mainly used for identification and access control or for identifying individuals who are under surveillance. The basic premise of biometric authentication is that every person can be accurately identified by intrinsic physical or behavioral traits.

Can we explain biometrics as an individual’s untransferable traits? 

Exactly! It’s not for nothing that facial recognition, and other types of biometrics, are usually used in such important systems as border patrol and immigration institutes. 

Beyond the definition

When we talk about keeping a country safe or avoiding being victims of fraud, facial recognition is one of the safest mechanisms that exist nowadays. 

Even the International Organization for Immigration highlights the importance of biometrics during the verification process within countries.

Biometric technologies have become a vital part of migration management. The responsible use of biometrics, with full respect to applicable privacy and personal data protection legislation, can be an effective tool for enhancing migration management and empowering migrants

— IOM.

It becomes clearer and clearer than biometrics it’s not part of the future, but of the present. It has the capability to reduce the entry barriers of millions of migrants or those who were displaced. 

Biometrics represents an opportunity to bring digital safety a step ahead in the life of millions of people who still depend on manual verifications of documents and the inefficiency of bureaucracy. 

The age of fraud

It’s a secret to no one that identity theft to commit fraud has been at all times highs since the massification of the internet back in the nineties, and it is a pain point to users and companies of all sizes. 

A survey published by PwC estimates that in 2020, 51% of the 1300 companies surveyed lost money due to digital fraud. This number grew 6 points in a year, and in 2021 it reached 57%. Alarming. 

Now in 2022, how many mechanisms are in place that allows others to commit fraud?

Let’s think about the damage that an ill-intended person with money, resources, technology, and time can cause to a company that does not invest in the right tools to protect itself and its clients from a cyber attack.

From accessing sensitive information to falsification of identity to committing other crimes inside the platform. If one of those bad actors surpasses your barriers, it’s already too late. 

A MetaMap for you

At MetaMap, biometrics and facial recognition are the pillars of online identity verification. We developed three products that allow you to build a workflow adapted to your needs. 

  1. Liveness Detection: Verify user liveness and physical identity through biometric verification.
  2. Face Recognition Authentication: Allow biometrically verified users to authenticate with a selfie of their face.
  3. Face Comparison: Verify that two users’ face photos or videos belong to the same person.

With these merits, companies can build a workflow as simple or as complex as needed. 

Companies and users can be protected 

Facial recognition and biometrics technologies have as a main goal the validation and verification of the identity of those trying to be part of the company, use their application, or enjoy their services.

While millions of people are victims or perpetrators of fraud, MetaMap wants to secure those companies that need it. At the end of the day, safety is a two-way street: it helps users feel protected and it helps companies grow into a borderless future. 

If you want to know more and try our identity products, get a free trial here.

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