In its 10 Hot Consumer Trends 2014, Ericsson tells us that 52% of the 5,000 smartphone users polled ‘want to use their fingerprints instead of passwords.’
Firstly, is Ericsson tipping its hand on what it has in store for us with their 2014 line-up? We suspect that they might not be enthusiastic to disclose poll results that showed consumers were salivating for something other than what was in the Ericsson product pipeline.
Secondly, and much more important, we think the jury hasn’t come in yet concerning foolproof biometric access on consumer devices. The recent release of the iPhone 5S brought out a bunch of very real concerns about using fingerprints as a means of secure access: i.e. Apple’s solution is not secure. (Junior Red Ryder Rangers and fingerprint buffs can visit Amazon to choose from a wide array of fingerprint kits that make locating and ‘lifting’ prints easy and fun!)
In addition, use of biometrics does not rule out fraud and misuse. Yes, we all want convenience, but we shouldn’t forget that with every new advance or change in technology, there will also be new methods for breeching and exploiting the system.
We welcome improvements in the area of secure access. But, once we get past the initial wow! factor of any new technology, we settle down to assess the question of weighing security vs. convenience. In our view, security is #1! At least for now, passwords are here to stay.
Choosing a quality password manager will provide you with strong passwords and make it easy for you to login, while still making it very hard on the bad guys.
And that’s the point of secure access: allowing you to get in, while making it as hard as possible for the bad guys to get to your stuff.
Prediction for 2014: Ericsson will introduce fingerprint technology into a large part of their smartphone product line.