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Some days after the Tecno Camon C9 was launched with great specs and a powerful security feature(Iris Scanner) , I started thinking why one should go for phones with Iris scanners and ditch the trending finger print scanners on smartphones.
Well, technology in smartphone security has evolved to a very secure level and most serious OEMs are catching up with the trends.
Fingerprint scanners aren’t new to the scene anymore. To get a phone with a hardware security like a fingerprint sensor, you really don’t need the most expensive top-tier smartphone e.g Iphone 6S, Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and other series, Huawei Mate S, Xiaomi Max etc.
Even your reasonably priced mid-tier smartphone(e.g most MediaTek android phones) can come packed with a finger print sensor.
Bio-metric security on smartphones brings a high level of authentication, privacy (data confidentiality) authorization (access control), data integrity and non-repudiation. Bio-metric is a technique that can provide all this requirements with quite a lot of reliability.
Before making the comparison, lets see how it works in this two separate worlds(Finger print Vs Iris Scanners)
FINGERPRINT SCANNERS ON SMARTPHONES
Fingerprint scanners ranges from Optical Scanners(Old and less secured), Capacitive Scanners(Modern scanners, secured and simple) and the Ultrasonic Scanners(Very secured, fast and also reliable).
They are by far the most used hardware security measures on smartphones.
THE ADVANTAGES OF FINGERPRINT SCANNERS ON SMARTPHONES
- There are affordable and used in more smartphones. Getting a smartphone with a fingerprint sensor wouldn’t cost much.
- Good user experience is always gotten on a smartphone with a finger print sensor.
- You can add multiple fingers to the fingerprint database which gives you more convenience when unlocking your phone with your finger prints.
- Fingerprint data can be securely encrypted. E.g on Apple Iphones with fingerprint sensors.
- The most recent fingerprint print sensors on smartphones(Ultrasonic Scanners from Qualcomm) are extremely secured.
- You can use your finger to unlock your device no matter the time of the day. Morning, afternoon or evening, you can comfortable unlock your smartphone using your finger(s)
- Fingerprint sensors on smartphones are socially acceptable and standardized.
- Fingerprint sensors are the most economical personal computer user authentication technique.
- Fingerprint scanners on smartphones don’t consume a lot of memory space to save or authenticate its resources.
THE DISADVANTAGES OF FINGERPRINT SENSORS/SCANNERS ON SMARTPHONES
No matter how tight a security element might be, it’s prone to have some loopholes, flaws or irregularities.
Fingerprint print scanners aren’t exceptional in this case.
- It might not work at first attempt unless you position your thumb or the required finger properly on the sensor.
- Wet and dirty fingers will not work easily or at first attempt.
- Scars, dirtiness, injuries, scratches and other skin flaws can reduce its efficacy.
- Some fingerprint sensors might not be able to distinguish between real and fake fingers.
- Its not recommended for little children since their fingers have a natural tendency to grow fast.
IRIS SCANNERS ON SMARTPHONES
Iris scanners are a kind of new security trend in smartphones. Although its been there but hasn’t been implemented and spread like finger print recognition scanners.
Iris scanning is a bio-metric recognition system that automatically scans 1 or both of the Iris(es) of an individual via complex and mathematical patterns.
The scans are stable and unique to each individual. Its different from retina scanners.
THE ADVANTAGES OF IRIS SCANNERS ON SMARTPHONES
- It(Iris) doesn’t change over time( but doesn’t remain the same for life) like fingerprints do after a long time.
- High reliability and very accurate over other methods of bio-metric scanners.
- The interval for verification is very short, about or less than 5 seconds.
- Iris scanning doesn’t necessarily require contact with the device or the Iris.
THE DISADVANTAGES OF IRIS SCANNERS ON SMARTPHONES
- Iris scanners might be a modern bio-metric security measure used in smartphones, but they are very expensive. Phones with such hardware aren’t much and are not really affordable.
- Iris scanning technology uses a lot of memory to save and authenticate its resources.
- They aren’t really acceptable socially and also not standardized.
- Can be interrupted easily via obstacles like glasses,eyelids and eyelashes.
- Imagine removing your glasses just to enable you unlock your phone. It doesn’t really suite the majority.
- The Iris scanner will have difficulty capturing the Iris of a blind person or one with cataract. Having issues with your eyes affects it accuracy.
- Iris scanners cant be used in dark environments or places with insufficient light, reflective surfaces or unusual lights.
- Iris scanners can be fooled with high resolution images of the real person’s face.
- Iris scanners use infrared lights to scan the eyes. Somehow, it might not be healthy to use it continuously.
- It requires more training and cooperation from the user during setup. Because of it’s not so easy to configure procedure, its not always convenient.
It’s highly recommended that you use a two way security verification on your smartphone.
Combining the fingerprint or Iris scanner security it with other primary security options like PIN and Passwords will put you on the safer side in case there is a bio-metric recognition failure.
Which would you prefer on a smartphone, a fingerprint Scanner, an Iris scanner or both?