More than one in twenty Americans have voluntarily submitted their genetic code – the map of who they are personally and physically – to an Internet company. Most people were lured by cute TV ads creating curiosity about heritage.
Many companies are continually struggling to protect customer data from hackers, thieves and other cybersecurity threats. Some firms have begun using biometric data in place of passwords. For example, many banks now allow customers to use fingerprint or iris identification to access bank accounts from mobile devices. This includes Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo. Google and other technology firms are working to combine biometric information to further strengthen security using information such as eye scans, fingerprints, face shape, voice recognition and even body movement. The prevailing idea is that although a single biometric indicator would not be secure enough by itself, a combination of many such indicators could “result in something more than 10 times as secure as a fingerprint.” And an ancillary promise is that biometric-based security would afford the ultimate in convenience to end users, who would no longer face the challenge of remembering convoluted passwords of their own creation.