At present, player security at almost all online casinos relies heavily on 128-bit SSL data encryption technology. However, that may change as biometrics authentication continues to come to the fore.
Biometrics is essentially the measurement of the human body characteristics, as well as the many calculations made with the data obtained. It’s most famous use is for controlling access to spaces and places, and for identifying individuals. It has already been used to authenticate computer and mobile device users, as well as employees at banks, airports, and other sites at which high security is of utmost importance. Biometrics could add another level of security for players who play slots and table games for real money at leading online casinos.
A Brief History
One of the earliest examples of the use of biometrics to identify individuals began in 1891. Argentinian Juan Vucetich started collecting criminals’ fingerprints, which could later be used to identify those responsible for crimes, as well as those who had been arrested on previous criminal charges.
Around the same time, Francis Galton developed his theory of fingerprint physiognomy, which laid the basic groundwork for applying mathematical models of fingerprints and other physical characteristics for identification purposes. The field was further developed by Alphonse Bertillon, who also worked on a system of identifying criminals based on biometrics.
According to writer Kelly A. Gates, the attack on New York City’s World Trade Centre’s Twin Towers on 11 September 2001 was a watershed moment for biometrics authentication. Its use was sparse before the attack; however, it became part of security procedures in the USA and other countries shortly after.
Since then, it has become prevalent enough to be found as an optional security feature on most computers, as well as on many smartphones and tablets. Whereas the high-tech biometrics systems at airports and banks may use retina scans, personal computer and mobile devices would use facial or voice recognition or fingerprints to authenticate users.
How Biometrics Works
Biometrics has come a long way since Vucetich’s fingerprint collection. The field includes not only physiological characteristics, but behavioural characteristics as well.
Fingerprints and facial recognition aside, other physical characteristics often measured by biometrics include palm prints and veins, hand shape, DNA, odour, and eye characteristics such as the retina or iris.
Among the behavioural characteristics that often form part of biometrics measurements are the way individuals walk, the way they talk, and the rhythm with which they type. Whether physiological or behavioural, such characteristics are almost, if not entirely, impossible to reproduce, which is far more reliable than security measures that rely on passwords, codes, or identity documents. In addition to providing extra security at airports and banks, and on smartphones and tablets, it is also used for biometrics locks on cars, in healthcare, and in online retail.
Biometrics and Online Casinos
Incorporating biometrics authentication into online casino account logins or banking services could revolutionise player security. Online and mobile casinos see millions of dollars pour in on a daily basis, and, as such, are a prime target for fraudsters and other criminals.
For the time being, data encryption has been reliable in keeping them at bay. However, casinos need to stay a few steps ahead, and need to make it impossible for criminals to target players. Biometrics may be just what is needed.
Not only would it ensure that only the player whose account it is can log in, but it would also ensure that money couldn’t be moved into or out of their account without their knowledge. The use of biometrics at online casinos could also speed up withdrawal times.
One of the main reasons the processing of casino withdrawals online can take between 5 and 7 business days is because casinos need to verify players’ accounts. The current procedures for doing so are time-consuming, and can be very frustrating to players.
Using biometrics to verify player accounts could cut a major step out of the process, or at least make it easier, which would ultimately result in players being paid out much faster than before. Using biometrics at online casinos may also be a mitigating factor in the heavy-handed approach to them adopted by several governments, allegedly because player security is lacking, among other reasons.