Study Cities Problems with Mobile Security

TOLEDO, Ohio, April 29 (UPI) — U.S. and German computer researchers say they are concerned about increasing security flaws caused by the incompatibility of biometrics and mobile devices.

Professors James Pope of the University of Toledo (Ohio) and Dieter Bartmann of the University of Regensburg, Germany, point to an inherent flaw in the financial industry’s adoption of biometric logins.

The researchers explain that biometric logins use fingerprints, voice recognition or identifies a person based on how they type, to replace conventional passwords for accessing online, sensitive data. The scientists said the problem is that smart phones, PDA’s and other portable devices currently can’t be adapted easily for biometric technology. And with increasing security flaws being reported in login systems and Web browsers, simply logging in with a password is becoming riskier.

“Passwords have been widely used because of their simplicity of implementation and use,” the researchers said, “but are now regarded as providing minimal security.”

And as consumers’ concerns about online security grows, Pope and Bartmann say further development of e-commerce and banking will be stifled if the issues of fraud and identity theft are not addressed.

The scientists note that while biometric readers are being adapted for desktop computers, they are seriously lagging behind in portability and compatibility with smart phones and other mobile computing devices.

The study appears in the International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing.

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