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Silent authentication will improve the consumer experience

​​​A brave new world of seamless, hassle-free authentication is set to revolutionize – and personalize – the life of consumers across the planet

First published on August 23, 2018

In a world of increasing connectivity and digitization, our interactions with devices and services demands ever more in terms of identity authentication for access. As such, consumers are now seeking ever more personalized, trusted and effortless ways of navigating their everyday lives.

This is where passive behavioral biometric authentication – often referred to as silent authentication – comes in.

Although the use of silent authentication isn't necessarily a new thing – the banking sector has been using it for many years, helping to provide convenient and robust authentication for online transactions – when combined with powerful machine learning, it can create a rich, multi-dimensional profile of each individual customer. 

How does silent authentication work?

By using continuous, passive behavioral biometrics authentication, including geo-location tools and machine learning, to build a picture of, the way they walk or how they hold and swipe their smartphone, tablet or PC, silent authentication analyzes behavioral patterns to securely authenticate the consumer. 

It also makes use of the sensors and signals that surround us on a daily basis – Bluetooth devices and Wi-Fi networks, for example. Data is then compared in real-time to expected consumer patterns and this allows each individual to be securely authenticated whilst creating a seamless, uninterrupted user experience.

As artificial intelligence seeps into (and improves) more aspects of our everyday lives, and at a time when data security has never been more important, silent authentication has the potential to be harnessed by a variety of different sectors and in a range of different ways. Here's a look at just some…

1. eCommerce

eCommerce is one of the sector ideally positioned to harness and benefit from silent authentication. Its ability to provide real-time identification that improves the customer experience can help retailers meet evolving consumer demands. 

In particular, silent authentication is ideally suited for delivery by autonomous machines such as drones, robots or autonomous cars whereby a consumer can receive an item fast, to their preferred location and with the minimum of fuss.

Consumer expectations are changing day by day and retailers are evolving to keep pace. MetaPack's 2017 State of eCommerce delivery report revealed that 54% want eCommerce sites to offer a one-hour delivery in metropolitan areas, and that 60% would buy more from e-merchant sites that offer better delivery service. A combination of silent authentication and autonomous machinescould be crucial to meeting this demand.

2. Smart cars

A world of connected cars and autonomous vehicles is just around the corner, but security and identification remain key issues. Silent authentication using behavioral biometrics could also signal the end of that age-old problem – losing your car keys. For a seamless access experience, silent authentication can be used to open the door of a vehicle as you approach it, or even start the car just by just sitting in the driving seat.

3. Smart homes

As the Internet of Things (IoT) proliferates, an increasing number of devices are becoming connected. No more so than in the home. Here, the rise of the 'smart home' has seen everything from thermostats and refrigerators added to a booming network of connected devices. As well as providing a robust security solution, silent authentication can identify individuals and ensure that access to certain devices can only be gained by them. 

But security is only one aspect of silent authentication in the home. When your smart home recognizes you, it will be able to personalize the experience by automatically adjusting things such as lights, TV channels or even your favorite drink to your preferences.

4. Government 

As well as making it much easier to access and complete governmental administrative procedures such as filing taxes via your tablet,PC or mobile, silent authentication has the ability to revolutionize access to secure government institutions, both physical and digital. 

Indeed, the US Department of Defense has recently announced that it is funding a smartphone-based identity verification project that officials say could revolutionize the way companies, federal agencies and the military verify individuals. By using smartphone hardware linked to a risk score algorithm, factors such as gait, hand pressure and wrist tension can be used to verify that users are who they say they are.

These behavioral biometrics allow for silent and continuous authentication while a device is being used, and a unique profile of that user is created. Machine learning means that the system learns over time and can potentially become more secure and accurateas it better understands the individual peculiarities of user behavior. Furthermore, the technology could be available in most commercial smartphones within two years.​

TAGGED IN biometrics; identity and access; innovation; government; internet of things