Biometric Scanning: Improvement of the Future

Biometric scanning is not a new development in the realm of technology. It’s been included in a variety of computer systems to unlock devices and open doors.

However, the development of Samsung’s Galaxy S5 allows people to use their fingerprints to make payments to a physical and/or online retailer instead of pulling out credit or debit cards. Although some online banking institutions have the capacity to pay for goods through the use of an app, the Galaxy S5 is the first smartphone that allows users to make local and online purchases through fingerprint scanning.

How biometric scanning can improve our lives

Made popular in mobile devices by Apple’s iPhone 5, fingerprint scanning technology is being redefined as more than just an unlocking mechanism. Further development of the technology could make many other facets of life easier and more efficient. Some of these could include:

  • Identification of suspects. Police officers could utilize an app connected to a database similar to what is currently used in order to identify an individual.

  • Medical history evaluations. Doctors and nurses could examine records of a person by scanning a fingerprint, which would improve overall individual care.

  • Easier and faster retail purchases. Bank accounts linked to biometric data could allow an individual to make purchases, and reduce the need for carrying payment methods as well as decrease the waiting time in a line.

  • Efficiency for education. Schools could access a student’s records from a national database, thus eliminating the confusion of having those documents transferred during a move. This can also improve the information a college receives during the intake process.

  • Political voting purposes. Through secured servers, biometric scanning could remove the need to count ballot sheets for votes. This might also increase voter participation if it could be linked to a downloadable app for devices that have biometric scanning installed.

The possibilities are almost endless when you consider the technology involved. Because biometric scanning can be more secure than the most jumbled of passwords, there could be a great deal of uses that haven’t yet been imagined.

Skeptics will find fault in using fingerprint scanning on such a large scale. Due to the NSA developing methods of monitoring conversations, many people fear the use of such technology might not be directed primarily for the purpose it was designed.

Such fears could blunt the development of a promising technology that could vastly increase efficiency of data sharing and access.

Finding fault with biometric technology

Granted, there are legitimate objections to support concerns about the future use of biometric-controlled electronics. Some have suggested that users’ movements could be tracked across the globe using GPS location when their particular fingerprints are repeatedly scanned at various locations.

Fears of government control have already affected how consumers purchase certain goods or use online services.

Throughout history, people have abused technology by turning a development into something other than was originally intended. Too often, innovative concepts were turned into weapons to serve military purposes.

Despite the fears that surround biometric scanning, the positive influence of this technology could help more lives than it may hurt.

Anna Johansson
Anna is a freelance writer and researcher from the Olympia, WA area who loves to obsess about weird topics and then write about them. When she isn't writing, she is outside on her bike and comtemplating her eventual trip to graduate school.

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