Biometrics vs Facial Recognition: What’s the Difference?

Biometrics vs Facial Recognition: What’s the Difference?

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many pivots and shifts in our daily lives, and one of those shifts is the now-common practice of checking your temperature before you enter a facility. To make this process simple and integrate it with security measures, more and more businesses are choosing products like the spinTouch RapidScreen, which can read your temperature while also using facial recognition to verify your access credentials.

As convenient as this technology is, it has also led some users to wonder about their security. They’ve heard the terms “biometrics” and “facial recognition,” but what do those terms mean exactly? And do they put their security at risk?

What Are Biometrics?

Biometrics is a broad category. It describes any method of using data points from your body to either verify your identity or verify your credentials. For example, biometrics includes fingerprint reading, voice recognition, and even the high-tech retina scanners you’ve seen in spy movies.

While they seem like innovative practices, biometrics have been part of our daily lives for far longer than most people realize. For example, logging into your phone or tablet with your fingerprint has been around so long that it’s practically outdated, and some voice assistants use voice recognition to obey your own commands rather than getting confused by everyone who asks a question on a TV show you’re watching.

What Is Facial Recognition?

Facial recognition is actually one type of biometric as well. In the same way that fingerprint readers check whether you have the same data points in your fingerprint as the person who’s logging in, facial recognition looks for facial data similarities for the same purpose. Like other biometrics, facial recognition is a common part of our daily lives today, like logging into your phone or authorizing an Apple Pay purchase with FaceID.

How does Facial Recognition Work?

Many people are worried about facial recognition technology simply because they don’t recognize how it works. The technology doesn’t store a photo of you and check to see if your face matches every time you try to gain access.

In reality, when you set up the facial recognition, it analyzes the landmarks and measurements of your face. For example, it could measure the distance between your eyes, the depth of your eye sockets, the size of your cheekbones, the length of your jawline, the width of your nose, and more. Depending on the precision of the technology, it could map as many as 80 different data points using your photo or scanned image.

After measuring those data points, the software turns this data into a numerical code, that that code is what it stores – not your actual image. No one would be able to look at this code and say, “Okay, now I know what this person looks like.”

Facial recognition is nothing to be worried about, and it surrounds us on a daily basis. Any time you walk into a big box store like Walmart or a mall, you can expect that their cameras are running with facial recognition somewhere. This way, if someone robs the store or assaults you in the store, for example, they can potentially identify the criminal.

Keep in mind that there are very different degrees of facial recognition software as well. The technology that the intelligence community and law enforcement organizations have is far more in-depth than the average software because countless lives could depend on its ability to identify subjects. Commercial technology like the facial recognition the spinTouch RapidScreen covid screening kiosk uses, for example, is far less extensive.

Does the spinTouch RapidScreen Collect and Store My Personal Data?

The spinTouch RapidScreen temperature kiosk uses facial recognition (not biometrics) to determine whether a person is granted access to your secure facility. It does not track or store your personal data, nor is there a risk of anyone else accessing your data. Personal security was a top priority for the innovators who were developing this technology, so you can rest assured that your personal data and health information is private and secure.

Common Myths About Facial Recognition

Much of the fear about facial recognition stems from simply a lack of understanding about the technology, as well as deliberate misinformation that has been spread about it. Let’s take a look at some of the most common myths about facial recognition.

Myth: Facial Recognition Software Can Access Phone and Tablet Records

This myth is entirely false. Some people assume that there is a digital database that stores facial recognition data, so they think that if they walk into a store with facial recognition cameras, for example, someone can use that data to log in with their FaceID. There is no link between these devices and this is not a risk that facial recognition can pose.

Myth: Facial Recognition Links Your Face to Your Digital Data

This myth is false as well. Your facial recognition data isn’t stored in any way that links it to your digital activity, so no one can use your picture to see your search history for example.

Embracing Security in the COVID-19 Era

Your security is of the utmost importance, both as it relates to your privacy and your health throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Rest assured that COVID screening with the spinTouch RapidScreen fever scanning kiosk will help your facility stay healthy without compromising your privacy.

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