Authentication: 35% of Quebecers use facial recognition

Among the uses of biometrics, 71% of Quebecers use it to unlock their phone or app, 35% to do banking, and 22% to make purchases. (Photo: 123RF)

Quebec has stated that it is exploring a facial recognition authentication solution for the Quebec Digital Identity Service. A new study shows that 35% of Quebecers use this type of biometric identification.

But just because people use it doesn’t mean they’re comfortable doing it. According to a survey by Capterra Canada, a free online marketplace provider, only 24% of Quebecers say they are comfortable sharing their biometrics, such as facial recognition, with government agencies. The data is also similar in terms of sharing this data with private companies (25%), with the exception of healthcare providers.

“As the use of biometrics grows, so does the concern for data protection,” Tessa Anaya, content analyst at Capterra, said in a statement.

The firm surveyed 756 Canadians, including 165 Quebecers, to find out their attitudes towards the use of biometrics and the protection of personal data.

Fingerprint is popular

In addition to facial recognition, 59% of respondents said they use fingerprints to identify themselves. Voice biometrics (10%) and iris scanning (6%) are also popular methods. Twenty-five percent of respondents do not use any biometric methods, which is less than in Canada (31%).

Smartphones are the devices most commonly used by respondents, with 56% using Android smartphones and 45% using iOS. This is what explains the active use of fingerprints and facial recognition, the study elaborates.

Among the uses of biometrics, 71% of Quebecers use it to unlock their phone or app, 35% to do banking, and 22% to make purchases.

Sharing personal data

Sharing information such as name, date of birth and address with private companies is fine with 42% of respondents. The percentage of Quebecers willing to share the same information, but with government agencies, reaches 47%.

When it comes to sharing sensitive data such as ethnicity or genetic and health information with private companies, the numbers remain relatively stable (41% say they are convenient). With state institutions, the data are similar – 42%.

Quebecers are more reluctant to share images of documents such as ID cards and passports with private companies (22%) than with government agencies (30%).

Share data on conditions

Fifty-five percent of respondents would agree to share personal data under certain circumstances. Indeed, 63% of Quebecers want to know exactly how their information will be used, 47% want to know how their information was collected, and 33% want their data to be processed exclusively in aggregate form.

“Because highly personal information is shared with private and public organizations, consumers want and deserve to know exactly what we do with it,” says Tessa Anaya.

Capterra notes that the need to “educate the public on how to properly manage their personal data is critical before the advent of digital identity.”


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