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Biometric security systems get thumbs up

The National Australia Bank (NAB) is using biometric voice recognition software to identify whether telephone bankers are genuine.

Organisations that require highsecurity are either using or monitoring the development of the biometric security technology industry.

NAB is not the only bank harnessing biometric security technology. Last year,HSBC started using biometric technology capable of recognising over 2,500 different facial features to help it control access to datacentres.

Bob McDowall, analyst at TowerGroup, said biometrics is an option for banks, but he warned that there are uncertainties and challenges for banks that use it.

"It is not 100% because people's voices and faces change.The banks will also have to ensure that the voice and facial data used is secured appropriately because people may see it as an invasion of their privacy," he said.

Another sector which needs to be highly secure ishealthcare. Tracy Andrew, head of information and security at Berkshire Shared Services, said the NHS Trust only uses biometrics in its nurseries to control parental access."We use fingerprint recognition and it has been 100% successful. It has also improved our efficiency by automating access."

He said the parents like the system, but he said the Trust had to take into consideration people's fears of their data being captured and retained. "The system we chose does not store the entire fingerprint, but recognises certain points."

He said the trust took its time implementing the system to ensure it overcame issues such as privacy. "It was not easy, but it was not actually that expensive," he added.


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