Monday, 13 December 2010

Are Biometric ATM Machines The Answer To Identity Theft?

Skimming involves the use of devices that fit on the ATM card slot and read information off a card’s magnetic strip. A small camera on or around the ATM records PINs as customers press the keypad.

Skimming is the latest threat in the identity theft war. Two men in Chicago have recently been arrested for rigging bank ATMs. ATM’s that usually have a fake cover or card slot put into them are more often found more commonly in stand-alone ATM’s or ATM’s in convenience stores.  In an article on John Joyce, special agent in charge of the US Secret Service Tampa field office advises, “Use legitimate bank ATMs. If possible go inside the bank and use the one inside the bank.”

But should we take after Poland’s BPS SA bank who set a European, and Western milestone, by installing a biometric ATM in Warsaw? Given the financial situations in Greece, Spain and Portugal in recent weeks the Euro Zone has plenty of reasons to be down on itself but Poland is showing a financial-sector first this week, becoming the first European country to install a biometric ATM.

The machine reads your fingerprint as opposed to the magnetic strip on a cash card. All that is needed to withdraw money and access personal information is your fingerprint and your pin number. Is this the answer to identity fraud involving ATMs?

The biometric ATM has been designed to only accept the fingerprint of a living human being. This makes it impossible for people to use a copy. As shown in many movies and often mentioned in tests of biometric devices a copy of a fingerprint, fake hand containing the fingerprint of someone else, or in extreme cases the hand or finger of a dead person cannot be used. Not only do these machines take a copy of the fingerprint they also detect the pulse from the finger which is recorded with the image.

The sensor technology employed by Global Bio Tec in its Connective Touch range of fingerprint
reading access control systems can't be fooled as it takes a scan several layers underneath the skin. The fingerprint often associated with criminality is turned the tables on those engaged in identity theft. 

1 comment:

  1. With a clear move to greater security and an obvious solution provided in biometrics; why is it the industry itself is not widely advertising the merits of this panacea to individual security recognition?