Technology Tuesday July 11, 2017

Lubbock, TX - New Passwords

The average computer user has 27 passwords and it can be a little tough keeping track of which password goes to which account.

Researchers are working on a solution, involving the technology built-in to your smartphones. That technology is called biometrics it's used to identify the human characteristics of the owner of the device. For example, the finger print sensor to unlock your iPhone or Samsung phone.

Biometrics can distinguish users from their swipes between web pages to the way they walk. “You had two different people walking in the same path but their signatures are very different,” Professor Vishal Patel explains.

Patel is trying to use biometrics to make our devices more secure. Studying a process called 'active authentication', that constantly monitors users activities.

The phone was also trained-incredibly-to recognize the unique way it's owner scrolls down the screen making the phone lock after identifying a different user.

Although the technology is already built-in to your smartphones, why isn't it being used right now? There are a few reasons, it could drain the devices battery, or fail to work in certain settings, and  some of the methods, like tracking patterns, can turn users way.

“Once you have this information you can sort of learn where the person will end up in the afternoon or at night,” Patel said, “it is creepy, but it is very powerful.”

Tracking users has become so valuable to marketers that tech companies can't be trusted to self-regulate their use biometrics.

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