The technology that could make biometric scanning mandatory for some banks is being trialled in Sydney, Australia, and has raised concerns about its privacy implications.
A number of banks, including Sydney’s Westpac, have announced that they are trialling the technology, which is similar to biometric chips used in credit and debit cards, at some of their branches.
“We want our customers to be able to use this technology as it is,” Westpac chief technology officer Andrew Williams told the ABC.
“It is going to work in other banks across the country.”
What we want it to do is be secure as well as secure for the privacy of our customers.
“However, privacy advocates and privacy groups say that the technology could be used to identify individuals without their knowledge.”
The only people who really need to be notified are the bank account holders,” privacy campaigner Tim McInerney told the BBC.”
That means there is no real way to make a person aware of who is using the biometric data they have to the bank.
“He said that, if banks were to adopt this technology, it could lead to more invasive forms of identification being used for the purpose of fraud.”
There are many ways in which a bank can be identified that don’t require any biometric information at all,” he said.”
One of those is if they have a card that is not valid or the cards that they have are expired or there is a fraud charge attached to them.
“He added that the use of biometric technology could also be used by criminals to track people’s movements, such as the use in the banking industry of mobile phone location tracking.”
If you have a bank account with a fingerprint on it and you get a call from the police you can be pretty sure that you will get a text message,” he explained.”
You can be fairly certain that you’re going to get a phone call.
“Mr Williams said that the testing at Westpac was the first of its kind and the bank was keen to ensure that it was compliant with all Australian legislation.”
This is one of the few countries in the world that is actually taking it to the next level,” he added.”
All banks have a responsibility to protect the privacy and security of the information that we have, whether it’s our biometric security system or any other technology.