Some 81% of Europeans favor using biometrics to identify criminals but are less for of using the technology in everyday life, according to a survey conducted by biometric and IT-solutions provider Steria.
A majority of European citizens — 69% — support the use of biometrics in identity cards or passports and to enter secure areas. However, only 45% favor of the use of biometrics to replace PIN numbers for bank cards.
The survey, conducted amongst 3,650 respondents from across Europe, indicates that citizens lack a comprehensive understanding of the benefits and applications of biometrics technology and the impact it can have on daily life.
With regards to the application of biometrics, French respondents showed the most support for the technology to be used to identify criminals at 89%, followed by 80% of British and 77% of German respondents. Overall, 69% of all European respondents concur in their support of biometrics in identity cards or passports, with French, Danish and British respondents leading the way at 81%, 73% and 68% respectively. Additionally, 69% of all respondents also favored the use of biometrics to enter secure areas, again with French (77%), Danish (75%) and British (69%) leading the charge.
Where support for biometrics begins to wane, however, is with everyday use cases for the technology.
Only 45% of European respondents expressed an interest in biometrics as a replacement for bank card PIN numbers. Among the least interested in a biometric PIN replacement were German respondents at 41%, Norwegian respondents at 43% and Swedish respondents at 44%. French respondents registered an interest above the European average with 52% in favor of a biometric PIN replacement.
A popular trend in Europe is the biometric ID/passport credential, but Steria’s survey reveals a difference in opinion amongst European citizens.
Roughly half of respondents — 54% — indicated that increased security against identify theft is the most essential reason for biometric IDs or passports, with an additional 12% indicating that reducing crime was most important.