Too Early for Facial Recognition?

October 12, 2017

With the iPhone X, the smartphone market is heading towards the introduction of facial recognition biometrics. Apple valued a big screen over keeping fingerprint biometrics on the premium model of their next phone, but is it a risky option? One new survey would suggest so.


Facial recognition not favourable with consumers

Morning Consult carried out a poll of 2,200 US adults post Apple’s announcement of the iPhone X. It found that more consumers had an unfavourable opinion of facial recognition (39 per cent) than had a favourable view (34 per cent). That left roughly a quarter of the respondents unsure if they viewed facial recognition unfavourably or not.

However, 50 per cent of the respondents said the idea of facial recognition made them feel nervous. Additionally, more than half worried about its privacy, and three quarters were worried about the effect it could have on identity theft.

Potential growth

There is certainly potential for facial recognition to be a success in the future. The younger demographics did show a slightly higher likelihood to be favourable of facial recognition. And even though technologies like fingerprint biometrics generally do well in consumer polls these days, that of course was not always the case.

It takes time to build consumer trust and confidence in solutions. Biometric solutions have a great capacity to improve convenience, but they must first prove themselves as secure and trustworthy if they are to have any chance of success.

Fingerprint dominance

Facial recognition has the task of earning that trust now, and with Apple behind it, in time it’s likely to improve in popularity. The thing that will perhaps hold it back is – for many – it’s not better than the fingerprint option. We know Apple wanted to keep the fingerprint option in their premium iPhone model, but not as much as it wanted a bigger screen.

It’s a gamble by the company because fingerprint biometrics have earnt that trust in consumers already, and undeniably are a more convenient method of unlocking your phone. Your phone can be unlocked before you even look at it, let alone before you’ve positioned the camera correctly for facial recognition.

We use fingerprint biometrics here at BioStore because it offers the best balance between convenience and security. In our opinion, it does that better than facial recognition does currently. It all makes you think, have Apple bet on the wrong horse too early?

Planet Biometrics: Consumers still suspicious of face recognition: Survey

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