Blockchain & biometrics - what’s the story?
Blockchain technology has been heavily discussed as an alternative to cyber security. One of the most attractive features of blockchain is that when a transaction is recorded then it is visible to all users on the network. In addition, when a transaction is recorded it is permanent so no manipulation of it is possible unless a separate transaction is created to make revisions and subsequent ones that follow it, hence the name “blockchain”.
What is understood about blockchain technology is when information is stored on it, it makes it very difficult to compromise it. Traditionally, hackers would directly target a database and have to shut down a specific portion of it to render the entire network unfunctional. With blockchain, it requires a hacker to go to individual blocks, which will be quickly seen by the users on the network.
Taking blockchain technology further, there have been a number of ideas of combining the record tracking abilities of blockchain and the authentication abilities of biometrics. Blockchain and biometrics, two different means of security but with the same objective of ensuring data protection. Are they coexisting today?
A large movement in India, Aadhar, is changing the way that people can access their private information. The objective is to collect the biometrics of each citizen and store them on a database, and the system enables a person to quickly identify themselves when they do not have personal documents. Aadhar was developed to help disadvantaged individuals be able to apply for bank accounts, passports, or to verify themselves in order to receive the benefits they’re entitled to such as through a government’s safety net program.
Merchant services accepting payments are seeking an alternative to protect their consumer’s data by utilizing blockchain technology and coupling it with biometrics. Creating an infrastructure of data security with blockchain with an efficient means of user authentication through biometrics, creates a synergistic platform of anonymity for sensitive information. This is the ideal goal for all agencies to provide for their clients. We look forward as learning and sharing more as the convergence of these two great technologies further develops!