Advantages and Disadvantages of Biometric Authentication

Written by steve johnson
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Biometric Authentication
Biometric fingerprint identification (biometric device purple and blue fingerprint image by Andrew Brown from

Biometric identification technology was invented during the latter half of the 20th century. However, it only became a commonly used technology around the turn of the millennium. Biometric authentication measures biological characteristics and is commonly found in advanced security systems, as well as time clocks.

Biological Features

The main reason why biometric authentication is becoming so prevalent is because it measures a biological feature, such as a fingerprint or iris. This is effective because biological characteristics are very difficult to disguise.

Time Clocks

Since biometric systems are electronic, they can record data as well. This has led to their use in time clocks, which allows for a more efficient system.


A downside for biometric authentication is that many systems---especially cheaper ones---can have difficulty in reading the characteristics or require extra time to identify them.

False Readings

An occasional problem among biometric authentication is a false reading. A "false acceptance" happens when a person who should not be allowed access is granted access. A "false reject" happens when a person who should have access is rejected.


Effective biometric systems are expensive, which is why they are generally only used by larger companies or institutions.

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