The Biometric Data Privacy and Security Dilemma – From Collection to Storage

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There is a common misconception that security and privacy are the same. In fact, security refers to the protection of online users and privacy is safeguarding unauthorized access to the user data. Digital security is incomplete without privacy. A website that is relying on security only will not sustain itself in the market. Today, users are more conscious about the privacy of their data. User data is not limited to name, passwords or address only, biometric data is also here.

Digital Privacy – A Rising Concern of 2021

The working of businesses is mostly based on data processing. According to experts, big data and cloud computing is the future of data management. In the upcoming years, data will be of more importance as it helps businesses in making more productive decisions. Through data collection, analyzing the market and customer behaviours has given good ROI (Return on Investment).

While organizations are using customer data and using it for their benefit, they have to make clear policy statements about the use of that data. In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation addresses concerns related to data protection and privacy.

GDPR Compliance – Ensuring Data Privacy

It is an inclusive data protection regulation that has been enacted recently. Although GDPR has been introduced in the EU, it impacts businesses all around the world when it comes to how they secure and use customer data. Businesses have to ensure GDPR compliance to avoid penalties and reputational damages. In 2019, tech giant Google faced fines worth €50m at the hands of French regulators. Because it has made the accessibility of consumer data processing difficult for users.

Given the high stakes of non-compliance, the following checklist must be adopted to ensure GDPR compliance

Appointment of Data Protection Officer

A data protection officer (DPO) is responsible for the maintenance and monitoring of user data. Additionally, the DPO also oversees operations behind data processing at mega-scale. Under the GDPR checklist, businesses must have 10 to 15 individuals designated as DPOs.

Assessment and Design of Data Privacy

The privacy design should be clear and applicable and thus applied to new products and services. To prevent internal and external data breaches, the data process should be audited and assessed.

Data Governance

The procedures, people and technologies required to make consistent and standard manipulation of company data should be supervised through data governance.
These queries are addressed in data governance;

What data is collected?
Why is it collected?
What will be its use?
Procedure deletion of data upon expiry or request?
Where data is stored?

Taking Consent for Data Collection and Erasure

GDPR pushes businesses to pass data control to the consumers. To mark this data protection checklist, businesses must take customer consent before collecting any data. The user should also have the authority to request data deletion, bypassing the right of the data controller.

Auditing and Record Keeping

Data controllers must keep a record of the data that is being taken, how that data is used, and information about the data transfer. Additionally, how Identity and Access Management (IAM) uses personal data should also be recorded.

Data Breach Obligations

This is the last and most important item in GDPR compliance. In case of any data breach, businesses must report it to the regulators within 72 hours. The user whose data is breached should be notified without any delay.

Ensuring Data Privacy in Biometric Verification

Biometric verification emerged as one of the effective and secure ways to identify users. It verifies individuals by analyzing their unique behavioural and physical attributes. It has given the freedom to consumers from memorizing passwords or PIN codes.

The most common example of biometric verification is mobile phone screen unlocking or employee attendance system. Users just show their face to the camera or put their finger on the scanner in facial recognition or fingerprint scanning, respectively. Due to increasing institutional interest in this technology, the market size of facial recognition is forecasted to reach USD 8.4 billion in 2025.

Online identity verification or KYC (Know Your Customer) incorporates facial recognition to combat identity fraud. The solution matches the face from the ID document with a live captured sample. It is a real-time verification solution that provides the best available security to businesses.

In particular, the financial sector is eating the fruit of KYC biometric verification. Businesses in today’s digital-first world employ biometric verification technology provided by third-party service providers, as it provides the benefits of GDPR compliance and data security, hassle-free maintenance and faster processing in a single go. The solution is integrated into their websites or mobile apps by APIs (Application Programming Interface).

Biometric Data – Most Sensitive and Vulnerable One

Yes, biometric verification is more secure than passwords or PIN codes, but how can businesses ensure data security and privacy?. Unlike passwords, biometric data can’t be changed. In case a criminal has hacked a database, the business can request all users to change their passwords. But the same happens with biometric data, it is not possible.

The importance of securing biometric data has become crucial, particularly as more and more businesses prefer to use this form of authentication system over traditional passwords. The dilemma is, where businesses can request users to change their passwords, the same cannot be done with biometric data.

Companies dealing with customer’s biometric data have to maintain strict data security and privacy protocols. Experts suggest the use of blockchain technology for data storage. Because blockchain is a decentralized network that uses cloud storage and private keys encryption. These factors make unauthorized access to data nearly impossible.

While this technology is still in its initial stage, numerous industry giants are exploring its use for achieving the best data protection procedures.

Final Thoughts

Biometrics are the future of verification and authentication, but it needs security and privacy from the initial stage of data collection to the final stage of data storage. start to end. Effective storage and security protocols not only enhance customer confidence, but build a strong brand image in a highly competitive market as well. Thus, the notions of biometric data vulnerability must be eliminated by investing state-of-the-art technologies

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi Sarah: Thank you for your article and I agree with you “Biometrics are the future of verification and authentication, but it needs security and privacy from the initial stage of data collection to the final stage of data storage. start to end.”

    However, the security of data storage is so fragile. For example, 3 billion Yahoo accounts leaked in 2013, 700 million LinkedIn users leaked in 2021, and 533 million Facebook users leaked in 2019. All the victims received were only apologies from these tech giants.

    Even if the data stored in the world’s most secure technology giant may be stolen, how can customers ensure that their data is safe?

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