Why older Australians should avoid biometric logins
Our story on the best password managers last week led to YourLifeChoices member Chandra questioning the efficacy of using biometric login techniques on our devices and the potential problems this poses for older Australians.
He sent us the following letter:
I am a regular reader of YourLifeChoices, thank you for your articles on our new digital life, please keep up the good work.
As a background comment, it is a great challenge for all of us to keep strong passwords for our online access and keep changing them periodically. It is a given that service providers whether banks or others have terms and conditions against common users and we have no option but to accept.
The point I wish to raise is new devices like mobile phones/tablet/laptop want to make access easier via biometric logins, such as fingerprint or face as alternatives to user-id/password. Although this seems convenient, I think it poses additional risks to seniors.
Most well organised seniors have their Estate Plan in place (my wishful assumption) and they have enduring Power of Attorney for carrying out financial transactions. If a person becomes temporarily incapacitated such as hospitalisation or injury to fingers, they may not be able get their authorised attorney (e.g. spouse/child) to carry out online access to services on their behalf.
I doubt if banks and other access providers have thought about such issues and how to mitigate.
My thinking is that seniors should be discouraged from using biometric login techniques for this risk.
What do you think? Does Chandra have a point? Do you use biometric logins on your devices? Have you thought about the implications of this?