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Fingers and phones

 Sony has filed a patent to allow smartphones to scan user fingerprints through their screens for identity purposes – heralding a new era for biometric technology and its potential applications. DigitalPersona, a US provider of multi-factor authentication, says that though this is not the first time a smartphone has offered fingerprint technology, it seems to be setting a promising trend for the use of biometrics by consumers.

Ben Boulnois, EMEA director, DigitalPersona, said: “When we see some of the big players in the technology market sitting up and taking notice of biometric technology such as fingerprint identification, it confirms that it is becoming accepted as a strong form of identity and authentication, and is no longer seen as a technology of the future. Threats to organisations and users’ personal data have been around for years yet it is only now that some of these large organisations are waking up to the potential uses of this technology which can form an integral part of a strong authentication solution.”

What this move represents according to the US company is a wider acceptance of biometric technology by the ‘big players’ such as Sony and Motorola, and it seems only inevitable that this will continue as smartphones become increasingly sophisticated, as well as tablets and other mobile devices. In the workplace, the increase in the use of mobile devices and users accessing corporate networks has necessitated stronger and more reliable measures to prevent security breaches. Technology such as fingerprint authentication on smartphones is the firm says one way of ensuring that organisation’s (and personal) data remains secure.


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