Skepticism towards biometry: Americans rely on their passwords

• 58 percent of Americans prefer passwords over biometric authentication methods
• 42 percent do not want companies to save and use their personal biometric data
• Only 9 percent find the use of biometric methods risk-free

From eye scans to facial and voice recognition, more and more biometric login methods are becoming available. However, over half of Americans still prefer passwords to log on to online services. A recent study from Yougov on behalf of the US email portal found that Americans are skeptical about these alternative authentication methods and are concerned about the risks of the new technologies.

58 percent of Americans prefer passwords to biometric log-in methods. The most used biometric authentication method, the fingerprint sensor, is only used by ten percent of Americans. Eye scans, facial and voice recognition hardly play a role: each method is only preferred by two percent of survey respondents.

American skepticism about biometry is based on a variety of reasons

There are multiple reasons for the skepticism about password alternatives: 42 percent of respondents do not want companies to collect, save and use their personal data. Just as many worry about not being able to access their online accounts in case of a malfunction. Almost one third is concerned about online criminals overcoming biometric authentication methods.

“The survey shows that biometric login methods are far from becoming a mass market. Nevertheless, for more security throughout the internet it is very important that alternative authentication methods like biometry are being further researched. In order to meet the concerns of users, providers have to fulfill high data protection requirements concerning the storage and use of biometrical data,” says CEO Jan Oetjen.

Few are supporters of these new technologies: 22 percent think that biometric login methods are a good addition to passwords, but only in combination with manual methods like passwords and PIN entry. Only nine percent of respondents find the use of biometric data risk-free.

For this representative study 1119 people in the USA were surveyed between July 7 and July 8, 2016. Results were weighted and are representative for the American population 18+.