Majority of Americans support biometrics in IDs
Eighty-two percent of Americans support the use of biometric identification on passports, according to a recent survey conducted by TRUSTe and market information group TNS. Three-quarters of Americans support the addition of biometric information to driver’s licenses and nearly as many (72.6 percent) support adding it to Social Security cards.
More than half (52 percent) of respondents agreed with the statement that “it will make it much harder for terrorists to operate within the U.S. with the use of biometrics to establish the identity of Americans.”
While the survey of 1,025 U.S. consumers revealed encouraging data for acceptance of the technology, many Americans still worry about the technology’s potential privacy issues:
* Fifty-three percent of respondents agreed with the statement that the use of biometrics “will greatly reduce personal privacy because the government will be able to track your movements.”
— Sixty percent of respondents agreed that “there is a high potential for the government to misuse the information.”
“The survey results seem to indicate that in dealing with government use of biometric data, most people will tolerate a decrease in personal privacy to gain increased security in the form of physical safety,” says Fran Maier, executive director and president of TRUSTe. “This doesn’t seem to translate to the retail sphere where consumers appear to be more cautious about giving away their personally identifiable information.”
Three out of five Americans support adding biometric data to credit cards (64 percent) and debit cards (62 percent), but are much less likely to want that information on a retail store loyalty card (27 percent).
The survey revealed that consumers do not trust systems that use biometric identification as a payment method. Less than two percent of respondents have used a fingerprint payment system and 32 percent say that they “do not trust retail stores with this information.” Only 23 percent of respondents expressed a desire to use this kind of payment system.