Widespread uses of biometrics

Biometrics are measurements and/or calculations of the human body, used to identify people.

There are many different types of biometrics, as there are many parts of the human body which can uniquely identify you.
  • Security
This is the usage that most people immediately associate with biometrics, thanks to its constant appearance in films. Use of biometrics in security bars access to certain areas to all who don’t have their biometrics registered on the system.
In films, the scanner is often fooled by the villain or anti-hero gorily cutting off relevant body parts from someone with that registered access. Outside of the world of films, this sort of shenanigans would likely to be foiled by inbuilt liveness detection.
The most common security biometric measurement is fingerprints or facial recognition
  • Time and attendance
Any workplace needs a way to keep track of employees’ attendance, particularly since the European Court of Justice has ruled that companies need “an objective, reliable and accessible system” to measure daily time worked.
A biometric attendance system is the perfect way to ensure this ruling is followed. Fingerprint scanners are most commonly used for this purpose, though some companies use facial recognition.
As well ensuring accurate measurements, biometric attendance stops employees from committing wage theft. With a non-biometric method of measuring attendance, such as swipe cards or a paper register, employees can make co-workers sign in for them fraudulently. With biometrics, employers can be confident that the person clocking in is who they are supposed to be.
  • Law enforcement
The police force has used fingerprints to help them solve crimes since the early 20th century. Fingerprint matching techniques have increased in accuracy in leaps and bounds, including not only matching fingerprints from people brought to the station, but accuracy of latent fingerprints left at a crime scene.  
In modern times, police forces also use facial recognition biometrics, both in order to catch known criminals and in order to prevent crime occurring.

  • Travelling
Biometrics are becoming the norm in many airports across the globe, as part of a drive to make passengers’ journeys more seamless. This generally takes the form of facial recognition at passport control, when passengers insert their passports and have their faces scanned to see if the match is acceptable. This is considerably faster than officer-controlled checking.
  • Banking
Biometrics are fast becoming a vital step in banks’ anti-fraud arsenal; everything from setting up voice recognition when you telephone the bank, so that they can hear someone pretending to be you, up to the more complex ‘behavioural biometrics’.
This is a multi-factor form of identification, where software learns everything from your usual shopping habits to the way that you move your mouse or type on a keyboard or scroll and tap on a phone.
If you’d like to find out more about the biometric time and attendance systems supplied by Time and Attendance Scotland, just contact our dedicated product team or Book a Demo, our representatives will be more than happy to answer any questions or queries you might have.