(Part VI in a series on Behavioral Biometrics)

We can witness a strong surge in the ability of our tools and devices and the software powering them to authenticate a user based on its involuntary behavior when interacting with the devices he uses to navigate the virtual world. NB I have classified this as the “user-device interaction” domain. One in four area’s  covered by Biometrics as being discussed in this RPD mini series.

Behavioral biometrics involves the patterns of the behavior of a persons body; like typing/swiping rhythms, angle of holding a phone, signatures, etc. With the advent of these new metrics and means to monitor them a body* can be recognized through its involuntary behavior while interacting with electronic devices. The essence of this type of biometrics is that it focusses on something you DO (and only YOU can DO) instead of something you HAVE in combination of something you KNOW as is the basis of most authentication methods in mainstream payments.

Impact of ubiquitous sensors and monitors

The ability of our tools and devices to “sense” our dynamic (involuntary) biometric behavior, which is unique per person, is rapidly expanding too. As a consequence of the ubiquitousness and the growing abilities of the sensors when interacting with devices we are going to be authenticated all the time and as such this becomes a passive state of being for everyone.

With the advent of behavioral biometrics we face being authenticated all the time, whether you like it or not. Authentication will not be a positive action performed by a person wanting access to an account or service anymore but the system starts to continuously monitor and recognizing our bodies.

We are slowly but surely moving from an era in which the user actively and intentionally initiates authentication for services on occasion to an era in which “the system” is continuously authenticating the bodies interacting with it.

We are challenged to understand the implications of the technological changes – especially in sensing and monitoring technology/methodologies – which allow for continuously monitoring behavior of persons interacting with devices.

  • body vs person: a person has a body but behavioral biometrics focusses on aspects of the body not the person. To amplify this point I refer to bodies not persons.