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Worried Consumers Want Biometrics

A majority of consumers in the United States and the United Kingdom are so worried about the security of their personal information that they overwhelmingly want companies and their governments to turn to biometrics to protect them.
A majority of consumers in the United States and the United Kingdom are so worried about the security of their personal information that they overwhelmingly want companies and their governments to turn to biometrics to protect them.

In the United States, 63% of consumers believe that the rise in identity fraud and the insufficient protection of personal information will become a "significant security threat," according to a study done by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of Unisys, a security technology and consulting company.

The same number also believe financial institutions and the government are not doing enough to stop the threat. That sentiment is even stronger across the pond, where 87% of U.K. consumers feel the same way.

In the United States, 69% of citizens want banks, credit card companies, health care providers, and government agencies to adopt biometric technologies, rather than other security technologies like smart card readers and passwords. In the United Kingdom, the number is even higher, coming in at 92%.

Consumers aren't just worried about their personal identifying information. Those same people also aren't feeling so secure about their countries' borders, either.

The study also shows that nearly 85% of consumers believe U.S. border security is inadequate, and only half think the U.S. government is making security a priority. Fifty-one percent think technology "plays a significant role in ensuring homeland security" and that biometrics is one of the best methods the government could use.

"We've seen a consistent outcry among consumers for more effective technologies, like biometrics, that will better equip businesses and government organizations to protect and verify personal information in a way that's reliable and convenient," said Mark Cohn, a VP for Unisys, in a written statement.

"Consumers are concerned that current security processes at our nation's airports and borders are inadequate, which likely will result in even more widespread adoption of biometrics within these areas," he added.

The Ponemon Institute polled 1,744 people between the ages of 18 and 75 for this survey.