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The Pros and Cons of Different Kinds of Biometric Systems

Developments in security technology have come a long way to provide advanced systems in order to ensure that your facilities, workspaces, and data are safe, whether it comes to locking sensitive information behind layers of encryption, or using biometric technology in order to limit access to certain spaces.

While different biometric systems have their own advantages, but they also have their own disadvantages. As the technology is still far from perfect, there are still mishaps that are bound to happen.

Whether it’s due to the FRR (false rejection rate) or an error that may cause the software to behave differently than it’s supposed to, a myriad of situations can arise that end up with you having your access denied to the facility.  However, that’s not to say that we’re slowly getting there.

With that said, here are some of the most commonly used biometrics, as well as the different advantages and disadvantages associated with the systems that utilize these said biometrics as a passcode:  


  1. Using biometrics is an excellent security measure as biometrics are hard to duplicate or fake. Biometric properties, such as fingerprints, faces, and even finger and palm veins, are so different from individual to individual that the chances of someone having the exact same fingerprint or vein arrangement as you is close to zero.
  2. Biometrics hardly change over time, even in the case of faces, which makes them highly reliable, with the only exception being that if you were to be in an accident which would alter your face or be unable to use your fingerprints.
  3. Convenience is another thing that biometrics are capable of providing as an advanced security system, unlike more traditional security systems that require the use of PIN numbers or RFID credentials.

You can forget the access code or your keycard and be locked out of your workspace or office, but you will always carry yourself with you wherever you go, fingerprints, face, iris, and all. This also means that they cannot be transferable, and therefore, cannot be stolen.

  1. Because these biometrics are extremely hard to duplicate or fake, they in turn create a sense of accountability among the personnel who are authorized to access the said facility or workspace where the security system is installed, as a person cannot say that this said biometric data does not belong to him/her.
  2. Biometric servers will also be dealing with little memory and processing, as the data templates often takes up very little space. This in turn, allows one system to be able to recognize hundreds of unique individuals who have access to the facility/workspace.

While biometric systems give us the benefit of convenience and increased security, they also have their own downsides, which are:


  1. The process of collecting data for the biometric system still lacks in accuracy when it comes to mapping them to an identity, and this lack of accuracy in data collecting and binding can lead to errors in the system.
  1. Biometric devices are still prone to error, which means that false rejection rates and false acceptance rates need to be carefully monitored. These errors happen because the system is unable to find a match in the database, or is unable to read it altogether, for many reasons.

    Biometrics are also unchangeable, such as a person’s facial or retinal scan, which in turn could not be easily accessible or in favor for employees who are physically challenged.
  1. While these systems are advanced, they can also set your budget back by a significant amount. Maintenance and storage are the two biggest factors that drive up the cost of having a biometric system.
  1. Even with multiple strong encryption levels on the system, the servers can still create a significant privacy issue if they are hacked. These biometrics are still considered to be the personal information of the employees, with a hacked server leading to the identity theft of many employees.
  1. Personal issues can also arise with the implementation of biometric security systems in the workspace. Employees can become uncomfortable with the idea if they see the use of this technology as an invasion of their privacy.