The Meeting Place

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.

Chandra

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?

12 comments

 

I fail to see Chandra's point. Most devices that have biometric logins also have the normal password login in case one or the other fails.

exactly what I was thinking, I keep my close sister updated with my master logging just in case, but on saying that who knows what banks and the such will do in the name of efficiency, another point I worked where I used my hands and most readers have trouble with my fingers.

I would be more concerned about somebody cutting my finger off to gain access to login somewhere.

Suze, while I do not know if mobile devices have this capacity, fingerprint readers in secure entry instaLLations also detect pulse so a detached finger will not work. Similarly single entry portals (ie only let one person through at a time) detect heartbeat so if two people try to enter together the second door will not open.

I never use my own fingerprint - too risky.

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ROFL, I go one better than that. My labrador is well trained in all forms of technology!

LOL, my cat does better than that, she even answers the phone!

Biometrics and password would be the more secure method. 

When kids have your password etc you have basically lost all financial independence. Just hope they take kindly upon you.

A passcode is still required in the event biometrics can’t be used, so I don’t see a issue with injured finger.

With my device even using fingerprint technology you must use a password after restarting it and even after about a week of only using the fingerprint. 

I think this article is another attempt to foster more anxiety over the use of technology rather than a real problem that may exist. 

Start using cash now wherever possible. No tracking and no bio whatis needed!

that is not going to last that long, you may have heard our Orwellian big brother wants a cashless society, the rich get away with anything but us plebs will be accountable for every cent.

Seen movies to demonstrate what can/will be done.  Fingers choped off and eyes removed?  No thank you!  I'll never see eye to eye with that sort of security. Chuckle.........

Ok guys, forget about cutting the finger off, won’t work because if there is no blood flow the finger print  changes from the original one and be invalid, so your efforts will be in vain. Get the rich rellie to talk in their sleep instead and reveal the password, LOL

LOL

Modern technology is wonderful until it stops working. There is nothing that cannot go belly-up despite the best efforts to prevent that. The evidence is there with problems with hi-tech in aircraft and immigration at airports, with low-tech in stores when their credit card systems fail etc.

A manual back-up is essential so make sure you always have that. Personally I never use my so-called smart phone for banking or for tap & go payments. It might seem that I am a Luddite but my experience over the years in engineering makes me wary as nothing is foolproof and everything can fail. 

 

Modern technology is wonderful until it stops working. There is nothing that cannot go belly-up despite the best efforts to prevent that. The evidence is there with problems with hi-tech in aircraft and immigration at airports, with low-tech in stores when their credit card systems fail etc.

A manual back-up is essential so make sure you always have that. Personally I never use my so-called smart phone for banking or for tap & go payments. It might seem that I am a Luddite but my experience over the years in engineering makes me wary as nothing is foolproof and everything can fail. 

 

@Tanker

RE: Modern technology is wonderful until it stops working."

Could not agree more ... just look at the people who got stuck with FTTN (Fibre to the Node)

who now have internet speed similar to that of Dial Up coupled with continuous dropouts which means if an email is sent and there is a dropout it does not get sent. 

When the electriity has an outage, then you have NO PHONE or INTERNET.






ternetN

I pay by Apple Pay using fingerprint. If someone steals my wallet, and thus my credit card they can use it with Tap and Go. If someone’s steals my phone, they can’t use it for payments.  The phone sometimes doesn’t work on old machines, and often AMEX doesn’t work. Visa usually works. Tap and go doesn’t work in America. They’re so backward there! 

HAHA GOOD ONE!

12 comments