Some argue that screening travellers based on their social media accounts jeopardises freedom of speech. Picture: MONSIT JANGARIYAWONG/123RF
Some argue that screening travellers based on their social media accounts jeopardises freedom of speech. Picture: MONSIT JANGARIYAWONG/123RF

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, we’re focusing on how companies are trying to make fingerprint access more safe at a time when it has been discouraged due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Marius Coetzee, CEO of Ideco Biometrics. The company specialises in the design, distribution and integration of biometric solutions. It supplies biometric products for security, access control, enrolment, time attendance, identity proofing, authentication and other uses.

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Ideco recently introduced an ultraviolet disinfection device to ensure the safe use of touch-based fingerprint readers.

Coetzee says fingerprints have become the most widely used form of biometric identification in SA. Fingerprints are safe, secure and quite accurate, and are used in offices, residential areas and as a form of personal identification. In addition, the technology is now mature, meaning it has come down in price given its wide adoption.

Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.
Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.

That wide use is the reason has been discouraged during the Covid-19 pandemic. Given the goal of limiting contact with touch surfaces, Coetzee says they chose to find a way to make the process safe for users.

The discussion also explores how the technology works, Ideco’s business model, the effect of Covid-19 on operations and other biometric technologies.

Coetzee says the pandemic and lockdowns have given other biometric technologies such as facial recognition, touchless buttons and iris scanning more prominence. That said, the high cost and education needed to inform consumers means fingerprints are likely to continue to be the default biometric medium in the foreseeable future.

For more episodes, click here.

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 Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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