Intel and its wholly owned McAfee subsidiary are working on biometric technology to authenticate users. The technology is expected to be available for download by the end of the year, said Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's PC Client Group. Skaugen claims biometrics will eliminate the need for you to enter passwords for logging into Windows and eventually all your websites.
While it sounds like a good idea at first, we do worry about about the privacy implications and the potential for abuse. Fingerprints are perhaps the most commonly used biometric authentication method but this technique seems far from safe for such widespread use as people leave their fingerprints everywhere. Other types of biometric authentication may work better, but the best use of this technology is probably for two-factor authentication, which would still involve a password of a pin code.
Biometric authentication isn’t new. It’s being used in Apple Pay, where fingerprint authentication helps authorize credit card payments through the iPhone or iPad. Intel has been working on multiple forms of biometric authentication through fingerprint, gesture, face and voice recognition.
McAfee is owned by Intel, and the chip maker is building smartphone, tablet and PC technology that takes advantage of the security software. Intel has also worked on biometric technology for wearable devices like SMS Audio’s BioSport In-Ear Headphones, which can measure a person’s heart rate.