The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Smartphones Enable Fingerprint Security

Biometrics, such as fingerprint ID technology, would solve some security problems for college and university campuses. Without having to remember passwords or carry an ID or payment card, students could log into campus systems, access their dorms, and buy course materials at the bookstore, using just their finger.

At least one expert thinks the retail industry is ready to plunge into biometric tech. If it’s successful, that may encourage the use of biometrics in more consumer applications, including higher education. Sebastien Taveau, chief evangelist for touchpad vendor Synaptics, said smartphones are making fingerprint IDs easier and more palatable to consumers.

In an interview with the National Retail Federation’s Stores magazine, Taveau said consumers didn’t like the idea of pressing a fingerprint-sensing pad at retail checkouts. However, “they likely are going to be more comfortable having the fingerprint validated on their own smartphone or device so they can control it,” he explained.

That also means the fingerprint data are stored on the device, not in the retailer’s network, so the store doesn’t have to worry about hacking.

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