Biometric technology is cool – it’s official!

Biometric technology, that uses the body’s unique features as an identification technique, has been around for a while. And now it has been adopted by Apple, it looks set to become a pretty cool alternative to passwords.

Does this mean that Kronos has been using cool technology for many years now? Well I think so! We have been using biometric technology since before 2000 to help organisations protect employee data on self-service terminals and to combat fraudulent working time entries. This is often where employees ask colleagues to clock in for them so that they don’t get flagged as late or absent. Less common, but more importantly, it is used to make sure the person who is working is the trained and certified individual you expect. Once a biometric solution has been introduced self-service terminals can be used by employees to check holiday balances, flexitime hours worked, next shifts, they can also make holiday requests sign up or swap shifts in the safe knowledge all their data is protected. Obviously a by-product is the improved accuracy in tracking hours, attendance and the reduction in absence rates. All of which, can help improve employee engagement and has a positive impact on the bottom-line.

With biometrics now becoming more mainstream in mobile technology, I am sure there will be concerns, similar to those we face when customers seek to introduce biometric technology.  Kronos Touch ID technology does not store hard-copy fingerprint images. In fact, no images are stored at all with the Kronos system. Instead, the InTouch terminal equipped with the Touch ID option scans the employee’s finger then converts the fingerprint image into a mathematical representation, which it stores in an encrypted format. As a result, it’s practically impossible to reproduce the original image. A fact that greatly promotes the cause of employee privacy.

The knowledge of the incompatibility (on several levels) of Kronos finger-scanning technology with government and law enforcement IAFIS fingerprinting devices goes a long way toward calming employees’ privacy concerns. In fact, Kronos Touch ID fingerscanning technology uses a unique algorithm, resolution, and capture size. These things combine to make the encrypted fingerprint data stored in the Kronos system irresolvable by government IAFIS technology.

With biometric verification looking to become even more popular, the nightmare of forgotten passwords will be alleviated and, despite the reservations that have been aired recently in the press, I think it won’t be too long before biometrics become commonplace and will be used in many areas of our daily life.


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