Get a Glimpse of the Future Part 1 – Biometrics & Social Media
Is biometrics the next big thing in social media? Will the American public appreciate the convenience or fear the coming “Mark of the Beast” type intrusion into personal privacy? As a social media management firm, we make it our job to bring you the most cutting edge technology news and information available and today’s article…despite the inherent controversy…is no exception. Keep reading to learn how biometrics and social media may merge in the not so distant future along with the reasons it could fail or succeed beyond your wildest dreams. Most important of all, learn how to prepare for either option in what is sure to be a major game changer in the field of social media and personal privacy.
What does a fingerprinting background and security clearance company have in common with social media? Well, today not a lot but in the not so distant future, biometrics might be on the cutting edge of online technology. Already used for background checks, security clearance and forensic investigations biometric technology includes a lot of seemingly diverse data points with one common point of interest…individualized data. Biometrics can be as simple as a fingerprint or as high tech as a retina scan. As obvious as facial recognition or as hidden as a genetic profile of intestinal flora. Yes, you read that right! Apparently, scientists have figured out that each and every person has a very distinctive intestinal flora ‘fingerprint’ as unique as they are; by measuring the proliferation of different levels and types of bacteria, virus and other intestinal elements it is possible to identify the individual associated with the original “sample”. In fact, genetics are one of the fastest growing segments of biometric data to date but still far from being made publically available to most business markets and applications.
The New Face of Biometrics
In the past, biometric data was limited by the use of technology and access to various proprietary database systems. For example, rudimentary facial recognition software was available decades ago but limited to local and state law enforcement agencies. Ditto for fingerprint scans which most typically required a time consuming process involving taking a good print, sending it off to a database for comparison and waiting for the results…hopefully in time to get a job approval days or even weeks later. Today all of that is changing – fast! Biometics are now able to take advantage of real time processing. For instance, scanning technology is able to identify a fingerprint or face with a startling degree of accuracy in mere seconds aiding law enforcement officials and security measures in areas as diverse as airports or on roadside stops.
Biometrics and Social Media
Great. So biometric technology is growing by leaps and bounds but what does that have to do with social media management firms or small business? Quite a lot if current law enforcement, data security and surveillance firms have anything to do with it. As regular readers already know, online security is a constant battle with hackers and major invasions of privacy routinely making headlines. The problem has become so severe as to warrant the attention of global security forces as leaders across the globe race to secure information and user privacy. But despite the best attempts of corporations to increase security, users are often to blame. They share passwords and then forget to change them later. They create easy to decipher login data or re-use user/password combinations for multiple accounts. They write it down in obvious places or just forget to log-out after a given period of time on a public computer. Attempts by business owners to update security provisions are often met with hostility as increased time and complexity reduces the likelihood of usage among average consumers. So, what can be done? As more and more security intensive transactions merge with social media, the need for enhanced measures grows. Everything from social media medicine to the inclusion of underage social media users demands greater privacy, accountability and security measures.
That is where biometrics might come into play in a big way…or not. Biometrics have always been viewed with a bit of suspicion especially by average Americans which treasure a high degree of privacy. Others cite strong religious beliefs while still others point to the potential for abuse by powerful business or government entities. Whatever the rationale, one thing is certain…Americans are reluctant to adopt biometric identification and security systems.
On the other hand, the ability to create a false identify via social media sites is a growing problem and one which law enforcement as well as national security has been at a loss to stop. Various “real name” provisions do little to combat the problem nor provide any real sense of security. The ability to determine that a customer is who they claim to be via biometric proof would be an invaluable asset to law enforcement as well as marketing professionals. No more spending big dollars to target a soon to be mother only to later learn it was a kids account all along. Ditto for the sports enthusiast who in reality is a middle-aged couch potato that couldn’t care less about your new product line for the upcoming marathon season. In the not so distant future, social media sites would simply require a unique personal identifier in order to log in; most likely a fingerprint, voice print or retinal scan.
So, what’s the bottom line on biometrics and social media…a big boon for business or privacy peril in the making? Would you support biometrics in exchange for a safer and more accurate social media presence or is the potential for abuse too stiff a price to pay? Let’s hear your thought on the matter!