This week, Mastercard became the latest business to unveil a new use of biometrics, a face recognition system that will allow cardholders in Brazil to “pay with a smile”. Biometric data collection has become commonplace in various industries, but despite this enthusiasm among businesses, new research shows that less than half of people in the UK are willing to share their information.

Mastercard’s new technology can allow shoppers to pay for groceries with their faces. (Photo by Jiraroj Praditcharoenkul / iStock)

The Mastercard program makes biometric scanning available to retailers, which means that the customer can pay by presenting their fingerprint or scanning their face. To use the system, customers must register their data in the Mastercard application in order to be linked to their payment information.

This was said by the president of Mastercard for Cybernetics and Intelligence Ajay Bhala Evening standard: “The way we pay must keep pace with the way we live, work and do business, offering a choice to consumers with the highest level of security.”

Bhalla cited better security, faster payments and better hygiene as reasons why people should register to use PayFace, which requires users to register their likeness and link it to payment information.

More than half of people do not want to share biometric data

After initial testing in Brazil, Mastercard plans to deploy the system worldwide, but may not find many users in the UK if research by software company Capterra is needed. IN CapterrA survey published today aims to test whether attitudes towards biometrics have changed since the Covid-19 pandemic and found that 60% of respondents are unaware that biometrics can be shared with companies other than just held from the company or organization with which they shared it.

He also revealed that as many as 57% would be uncomfortable sharing biometric data, including fingerprints, faceprints and voice recognition in all circumstances.

Researchers in the study said it was important “for businesses and institutions to go beyond compliance with laws such as the GDPR when collecting and tracking personal information, as data transparency is just as important.”

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Biometric technologies cover a wide range of uses, from using a fingerprint to log in to a device like Alexa to recognize the person speaking through voice print analysis. It encompasses a person’s unique physical and behavioral characteristics.

“In our study, 44% of participants said they regularly use fingerprint scanning, with the second highest biometric method being facial scanning,” the authors said.

“These methods are often used to unlock modern smartphones. However, 20% of respondents say they do not use any of the biometric technologies described in detail in our study.

Use of biometric data in schools

The data is not only used in the workplace, in retail and in the hotel industry. A new report from the Defend Digital Me campaign group, also published today, found that some children were forced to give up biometrics in order to get food or take out a library book, which the group said should stop. They call for a ban on unnecessary biometric data collection in education.

“Our enthusiastic adoption of biometric technology must balance material risk with measurable benefits, which suggests that we have identified both,” the report said. “Although there are some areas in the police where the saying may not always be true, the saying ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you have to’ is still a convenient test to test when balancing the possible with the permissible and the acceptable.”

A spokesman for the Ministry of Education said: “Schools must decide whether to use fingerprint recognition or other biometric data, and we provide guidance to schools on their use, which sets out the legal obligations of schools.

“We are clear that schools and colleges that use fingerprints or other biometric recognition systems must take steps to notify parents and obtain their consent. Schools and colleges cannot legally process a student’s biometric data without doing so. “

The department said biometric councils for schools and colleges are currently being reviewed to reflect law and government policy.

A consumer protection regulation is needed

Many countries have laws protecting consumer biometrics. In Europe and the United Kingdom, it is covered by the GDPR, but often these regulations protect only the identity of the individual, said Imogen Parker, associate director of AI research policy at the Ada Lovelace Institute, rather than potentially more intrusive intangibles such as according to their likes and predictions of personality type.

Speaking of Technical monitor Earlier this month, Parker said: “This was the responsibility of the police and the government, but the new technology has opened up opportunities for collecting and using biometric data in the private sector and in a wider range of industries.

Clearer legislation is needed in this area, Parker said, and the inclusion of biometrics in upcoming laws, such as the replacement of the UK’s GDPR, the data reform bill, is unlikely to go far enough.

Susie Miles from Ashfords Law Firm told Mastercard about the plans IN security guard that there are problems with the use of biometric data, especially that while the password can be changed, removal or smile cannot, adding that “If biometric data is hacked, then the risk of fraudulent activity can be significantly higher than current payment methods. “

Read more: UK government must take police face recognition seriously

Mastercard launches pay-by-face, but consumers are still wary of handing over biometric data

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