Once the preserve of science fiction films and James Bond gadgetry, biometric technology is now increasingly being put to business use, from airport retina scanners to sign-in facilities on construction sites.
With the recent launch of Apple’s Touch ID Fingerprint Technology, biometrics has been catapulted firmly onto the consumer radar as well. As with just about any new form of technology, there have been concerns over its privacy and security implications. And while fears such as those expressed by Senator Al Franken, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, are not unfounded, the media has been quick to seize upon these without giving due consideration to the benefits such technologies can bring.
In our digital world, we place ever-greater demands on our technology to allow us to do things faster, more efficiently, and in the most convenient way possible. Therefore, it makes sense that technology has to constantly evolve to meet expectations. The rise of Big Data, the cloud, 3D printing, and now biometrics can all be attributed in part to this phenomenon.
At the same time, companies involved in or entering these fields must contend with the challenge of communicating the benefits of these technologies effectively, while being sympathetic to people’s concerns over security. Having worked with clients such as Simeio and HID Global, we know how tricky this can be. A good communications strategy is crucial.
As we wrote recently, following the IET Mountbatten Lecture given by David Willetts, new technologies are the key to the UK’s future on the global stage and should be embraced, but it is also important to cut through the hype and misinformation in order for a company’s communications strategy to be successful and sustained over the longer term.