Jump to menu
Technology

What is biometrics?

4 min read

Discover how biometrics are being used around the world

From fingerprints to facial recognition, there’s no escaping biometrics. And if you think that it’s only used to track the bad guys, think again. Made a call on your mobile today? Popped into a supermarket? Taken a stroll down your local high street? Gotcha! Biometrics have become such an everyday tool that you probably don’t even realise your information has been captured. So love the idea or hate it, as each year passes and technology advances, biometrics will become an even greater part of your life.

10 smartphones have so far been released with fingerprint readers in 2015

2/3 or more of mobile phones will include fingerprint sensors by 2020

80%+ of all smartphones now include a facial recognition component in their cameras

100% of Great Britain and Northern Ireland passports will contain a facial geometry chip by 2020 

100% of British airports use facial recognition software

100% of foreign citizen visiting the USA have their fingerprints taken on arrival 

2013 Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons introduced facial recognition system, OptimEyes – this differentiates between sexes then changes the on-site screens to show relevant ads 

2015 an app launches in China that uses facial recognition to authorise payments

2017 fashion brand New Look aim to have 100 biometric fingertip payment systems in their Chinese stores 

55 million sets of fingerprints were processed by the FBI in 2014

400,000 fingerprints are processed daily by UK and US police forces

30,000 people on average sign up for a chipped Foreign Nationals Permit in the UK each month

99.91% of all biometric searches by US and UK police forces are matched within 24 hours

50%+ of all UK convictions use some form of DNA or biometric identifier as evidence

55,000 photos are taken per day by the National Security Agency – all good enough to be used for facial recognition

40,000
biometric photographs are processed by the UK and US governments per month 

60%+ of all UK CCTV cameras use facial recognition software

20 countries in Africa use biometric identifiers for elections, but none in Europe 

5.5% of hospitals worldwide use biometrics in their databases

1 million+ people in the USA rely on the biometric patient identity management platform, RightPatient® 

That’s 33 million annual patient visits every year 

70% of all domestic animals in the UK are micro-chipped 

100% of UK dogs will need to be chipped from 2016

30% of UK secondary schools use biometric data for everything from entering a building, to recording attendance, to checking out library books 

5 countries in the world have mandatory biometric IDs. Gambia, Brazil, Netherlands, Israel and India

755 million Indian citizens have provided an iris scan and fingerprints in return for an identifying Aadhaar Number (as of Feb 2015)

The aim is to issue 1 million cards per day

Indian’s biometric database is 10X larger than that of the FBI

2 million+ cars in the UK use fingerprint sensors in their keys

Nearly 50% of the people in the UK are in favour of using biometrics as a replacement for traditional banking PINs


All facts accurate as of August 2015