Sacrificing identity security for bike security?

Our phones recognize our fingerprints. Payment apps require a face scan. Banks store our voice recordings for future verification. Biometrics, or the use of biological data to confirm identity, is all around us these days. Now, biometrics company Unioncommunity seeks to use the technology to monitor parking garages and stimy ever-increasing motorcycle and scooter theft.

Catering to the South Asian market, Unioncommunity’s parking system will scan the incoming rider’s face and license plate before granting access. The company reports that the multi-camera setup will process 15 vehicles per minute, easing parking lot traffic jams in the process. With each facial scan and license plate linked in the system, the rider will also need to operate the vehicle upon exit. Unioncommunity hopes that requirement will discourage bike burglaries at parking structures employing the technology.

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Of course, increased data mining and the potential misuse makes many people uncomfortable with the practice and questions quickly arise. For instance, how long does Unioncommunity store your personal information? How robust are their data security protocols? The system apparently identifies faces despites masks, but how does it handle riders wearing full-face helmets?

Additional questions come up when Unioncommunity applies its “parking solution” to the workplace, as the system could be used to further monitor employees. Coincidentally, the company is scheduled to install its first biometric parking gates at a manufacturing plant in Vietnam.

“We will expand the parking management system by combining new types of technologies that have not been seen in the biometric based access control market, and provide all parking-related solution in an integrated manner,” said Unioncommunity CEO Shin Yosik.

Only time will tell how the company integrates its parking system and numerous other technologies, but hopefully it’s executed ethically. Unlike a phone, the parking system doesn’t provide an alternative to biometrically-gained access. Under Unioncommunity’s system, riders may have to choose between the security of their motorcycle or the security of their identity.

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