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Scared to use your fingerprint or face as your password? In the future, devices will want those and more.


Scared of giving your fingerprint, or now your face, to your phone? We have some good news and bad.

We met with George Avetisov, CEO of HYPR, a company that secures biometrics transactions, like ones with Apple’s Touch ID, and he explained why soon you could be expected to give up even more body ID info for passwords, but all of that could potentially still be safer than an old fashioned password.

"When you use Touch ID, you’re using a biometric token that represents your fingerprint rather than sending your fingerprint up to the internet," Avetisov broke it down. "[So the fingerprint] never leaves the device."

It's that on-device authentication that ensures your body ID info isn’t floating around in the cloud waiting to be grabbed as fast as private photos on a celeb's iCloud account. And this security applies even when it comes to using Touch ID, or Apple's new Face ID with the iPhone X, for things like like banking apps and PayPal transactions.

Face ID
The iPhone now wants your face.

Some other leg-ups biometrics have over regular-old alphanumeric passwords: Bio-passwords aren't guessable (password123), and even if somehow a hacker were able to get a hold of your fingerprint or face scan (not easy to do) he or she would have to have physical access to your phone to use it.

Whether the above info makes you feel better about biometrics or not, Avetisov told Circa that he expects devices in the future will go all in on multi-pronged biometrics.

"The new Samsung phone supports fingerprint, face and eye recognition. That’s awesome," he said. "I think Apple’s going to follow suit, because ... based on your environment, one biometric should work better than another."

Galaxy S8 biometrics
The Samsung Galaxy S8 has three biometric security options. Most smartphones in the future could offer all these and more.

Apple’s new iPhone X added a facial recognition system called Face ID, but it dropped the Touch ID fingerprint system, leaving it with still just one biometric security option.

Avetisov also said to watch out for these multi-biometrics security schemes to come to more devices that just phones. In cars, for example, we might see face-scanning used to automatically authenticate drivers, while voice recognition could be better put to use to push through payments at gas pumps or toll booths.

Continental biometrics
A mock-up of Continental's Biometrics Advanced Access system.

"Some of the car companies we’re working with are doing this keyless access thing where you’re approaching the car and it senses your biometrics in the way you walk and lets you in the vehicle," said Avetisov.

"So you’ll be using new biometrics and you might not even realize it. Just be ready for that, man."

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