Jan Bledsoe was shocked Thursday to learn she can no longer just swipe her finger across a screen at the local Jewel store to buy her groceries because the bankrupt company behind the technology no longer will process such transactions.
“I’m concerned because I didn’t know it wasn’t Jewel that I’d given my information and fingerprints to,” said Bledsoe of Lake Villa. “The girls at the Jewel were as surprised as anyone” that the system was shut down.
Bledsoe was among thousands of disappointed customers to learn that Solidus Networks Inc., a provider of payment processing, is no longer operating its biometrics unit. The firm’s failure prompted some financial analysts to question whether technology that relies on biological information to identify a customer is ready for the market’s mainstream.
Although biometrics is far from perfect, it offers consumers an option for making purchases with minimum hassle and no need to remember passwords.
“Commercial biometrics is inevitable,” said Paul Saffo, a Silicon Valley-based trend forecaster. “There are huge risks, but it’s just so cheap and convenient, people won’t be able to resist it. Whenever Americans face a choice between privacy and convenience, they always choose convenience.”
There are so many examples of Idiocracy out there, we need a category just 4 it.