How Millennials Are Reshaping the Future of Identity

Zahra Deinde-Smith  |  July 11, 2018   |  ID Verification  


Biometrics Disrupt the ID Verification Field

According to a 2018 study from IBM, the personal security habits of younger generations have diverged from their elders. This realization is rapidly changing the trajectory of the ID verification field. With millennials making up the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, their attitudes toward digital identity and authentication have the potential to disrupt the ID verification industry.

For example, millennials have shown a new and growing preference for biometrics. When we talk about biometrics, we mean fingerprints, facial recognition, retinal scans, voice recognition, and handprints to unlock smart devices and verify digital identities. Even though respondents to IBM’s study chose fingerprints as the most secure form of biometric authentication, Jumio predicts that biometric facial recognition will become increasingly popular in the next year with Apple’s iPhoneX Face ID feature leading the way.

With a single glance, users can unlock their iPhones. The facial recognition software automatically adapts to changes in appearance like facial hair and makeup. also predicts that biometric methods will likely replace knowledge-based methods, such as alphanumeric passwords and pins, in the near future.

Millennials are Trading Complex Passwords for Convenience

However, it seems as though when one ID verification technology enters, another one leaves — especially for younger generations. 75 percent of millennials surveyed in the IBM study reported being comfortable with using biometrics, in comparison to only 58 percent of respondents over the age of 55. Meanwhile, only 42 percent of millennials use complex passwords and 41 percent reuse the same passwords for several accounts. People over the age of 55, on the other hand, use 12 passwords on average, and only 31 percent reuse passwords.

Why are millennials shying away from traditional passwords? From the responses to the IBM study, it seems like younger generations’ emphasis on convenience holds the answer. Growing up in the age of smartphones and social media, millennials are used to their devices executing their every wish in a matter of seconds. The study revealed that when given the choice, people under the age of 34 would most likely choose fast over secure authentication, if it could save them one to ten seconds.

Biometric Data is Difficult to Forge, but Millennials are Still Cautious

While many millennials prefer biometric authentication over passwords, they’re still concerned about the security concerns that come with new technology. Top responses to the study include how data stored by biometric tools will be used and how hackers could use spoof biometrics to access their information. Given that millennials are the most likely to fall victim to financial and tax scams, they’re learning the hard way about the importance of protecting their digital identities.

And yet, millennials have yet to become seasoned veterans at protecting their data. Based on a 2017 study from First Orion, millennials are six times more likely to give away personal information over the phone than older generations. Growing up with technology may have made millennials more aware of potential security risks, but at the same time, they’re less likely than older generations to view them as immediate threats to their livelihood. This occasionally makes them unsuspecting targets of cyber-criminals.  

Hence, personally identifiable data (PII) from biometrics, which is substantially more difficult for hackers to use, demonstrates a promising future in the ID verification industry. After all, forging a fingerprint or face is much more challenging than forging a stolen password. That’s why biometrics seem to be an irreplaceable part of the future of identity.

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About Zahra Deinde-Smith

Hi, I'm Zahra Deinde-Smith and I currently work as a Marketing Intern at Urjanet. My passions include history, genealogy, and hair care!

Tags   FinTech   |   Identity & Fraud   |   Identity Verification   |   Technology   |   Urjanet   |