The IoT Security Search: Fingerprints, Eye Scans, Voice, Chips In People

New security methods around connected things may help consumers more safely pay for things they are buying.

Biometric identifiers are growing and providing new ways to authenticate who someone is.

One method of identification is a fingerprint scan. In 2013, only two smartphone models had fingerprint sensors on them, but by last year, 205 different models had them, according to Juniper Research.

There also is a process called two-factor authorization. That’s when a consumer has a physical thing, like a credit card, and then something else, like a password or PIN. A second factor also could be a text message.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 introduced last week has yet another identification form, via its eye scanner.

A nearby beacon also could validate that a particular phone is in a certain location.



Many of these innovations are aimed at making transactions more secure. Mobile biometric payment volumes will triple this year to nearly 2 billion, says Juniper.

And then there’s voice. More than a million banking customers of Citi in the Asia Pacific region have used the company’s voice biometrics authentication service, in the course of less than a year, according to Citi.

More advanced methods involve putting microchips into people, as companies in Sweden and Belgium are doing, as I wrote about here recently (State Moves To Outlaw Putting Chips In People). In those cases, a wave of a hand can trigger a payment or unlock a door.

The Internet of Things involves lots of automating of processes. Payments are a large target.


Sensors and security are on tap for discussion at the second annual MediaPost IoT Marketing Forum May 18 in New York. Check out the agenda