2020 Predictions: Biometrics and Facial Recognition in Cybersecurity

This is our first annual roundup of expert predictions for the coming year. Here’s what leading industry figures have to say about the use of biometrics and facial recognition in cybersecurity in 2020.


  • Biometric tracking will draw an international outcry for data privacy laws. The increased use of biometric data for authentication also calls for stronger regulations for data privacy, as consumers could be subject to bias. – Malwarebytes Labs


  • Fight The Power Against Technology: We are just beginning to recognize the social dangers of rapidly-advancing and broadly-used technology in a highly connected society. Take new biometric technologies, as just one example. Advanced facial recognition capabilities are being used by governments around the world, and in response, consumers have begun to revolt by creating and donning an “opt out” cap that obstructs the wearer from being identified by facial recognition scanners to avoid physical tracking. In 2020 we’ll see a continued rejectionist movement, particularly among young people; further exploitation of various technologies; and a growing trend of avoiding social media. We will witness a strong movement of distrusting the government’s use of technology in the processes that put them in power, and in services intended to protect and support the public. – Christopher Kennedy, CISO and VP of Customer Success at AttackIQ


  • Facial authentication goes mainstream:  There’s been a healthy degree of confusion between facial recognition and facial authentication, but the underlying technologies are often very different and designed to address different use cases. For consumers and businesses alike, facial authentication is a win-win. Unlike facial recognition systems which are often performed without the user’s consent, facial authentication is permission-based and provides high levels of security and assurance to a user while letting them seamlessly access their own accounts or devices. The elegance of facial authentication is that the user does not need to be subjected to the entire identity proofing process — they just need to take a new selfie when then log into their favorite app or perform some high-risk transaction (e.g., wire transfer or password reset). In 2020, we anticipate that c facial authentication will continue to grow in popularity and continue to be used as a trusted technology for identity verification. – Robert Prigge, President of Jumio


  • Biometric-based identity proofing and authentication will continue to be adopted in highly regulated industries to assure a person’s digital identity matches their real identity: The global market for mobile biometrics is forecast to grow at an impressive 31.14 percent CAGR, adding $28.45 billion per year in incremental growth between 2018 and 2023, despite the CAGR decelerating by 22 percent in the period. The growth forecasts in the latest set of market analyst reports that indicate widespread adoption of biometrics technology: 22 percent for mobile biometrics, 22 percent for 3D sensors, and 19 percent for healthcare biometrics. Facial authentication is impacting the physical security market, cloud-based subscription services are becoming more popular for security, and the Pentagon is expected to remain a source of opportunity for companies offering advanced authentication technologies. Although we are still in the early stages of biometric-based identity proofing and authentication, its development will serve as a viable solution for the growing fraud epidemic. Previous methods of identify verification, like pinging credit bureaus, knowledge-based authentication, and even SMS-based two-factor authentication are no longer viable, reliable or secure means of authentication (and don’t provide a high level of identity assurance). Biometric authentication, on the other hand, is significantly more secure, reliable, and delivers a much higher level of assurance. – Robert Prigge, President of Jumio


  • Advanced liveness detection will be a critical part of cybersecurity. The adoption of facial recognition and facial comparison has been hampered until now because it has been easily spoofed using video. Technology in the form of advanced liveness detection has now closed this gap in security. Combining both static and dynamic liveness detection is something that we could also see more of. In more general terms, technologies such as facial recognition and its use of artificial intelligence will come under more scrutiny. – Conor Hickey, Solution Architect, OneSpan


  • Before we see adequate regulation and security to protect biometric data, there are going to be some unlucky people whose biometric information is stolen and used for repeat fraud. If your credit card details are stolen, you can easily change your account number. But what if your face gets stolen? Once that information is compromised, there’s no swapping it out. Before the industry catches up and understands how to properly protect it, we’re going to see the consequences of the increased adoption of biometrics. – James Carder, CSO and Vice President of LogRhythm Labs


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