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Brits Shun Biometric Authentication for Traditional Passwords, Report

Nearly a third of people in the UK still prefer to use passwords to authenticate over biometric credentials, according to research by GMX. In the report, 30% of respondents said that typing a password was their preferred method of accessing their online and mobile accounts. What's more, 22% also said that they like fingerprint biometrics over face or voice.

According to GMX, 30% of respondents had at least 10 different online accounts, with a further 43% feeling overwhelmed by the number of passwords they had to remember. Alarmingly, 8% feel that remembering their passwords was more stressful than changing jobs or getting a divorce. 

This stress impacts how often people get locked out of online accounts: 19% said that they get locked out of an account at least once a month because of multiple incorrect attempts to access it. Given the choice between Single Sign-On services (where you can log in with any device - laptop, PC, smartphone, etc.) or a password manager (where each service has to be logged in separately with its own password), 32% preferred Single Sign-On, while 24% chose password managers.

“This survey shows positive signs that consumers are ready to accept biometric authentication once their data privacy concerns have been met so it is up to providers to meet those privacy demands by demonstrating that they are complying with all the relevant laws,” said Jan Oetjen, managing director of GMX. “The combination of convenience and data protection will create further demand for biometric security.”

However, the public in the UK does not seem to be receptive to advanced biometric techniques. Iris scans (4%), facial (1%) and voice recognition (1%) hardly featured at all as preferred methods of authentication. 

The survey of 1050 people in the UK was carried out by email services company GMX, who did a similar study in 2016. Since this research, people who prefer using passwords has almost halved from 61%.

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