Blog Post #3 – Security for the Elderly

The research program has expanded since the last blog post we made back in December; we have conducted more research and refined our Qualtrics survey to reflect the most accurate results possible. In addition to displaying biometric facial scanners to the elderly, we have also introduced USB fingerprint scanners to them. Although it is a different kind of technology, it essentially does the same thing; it incorporates a unique feature of each person’s body to authenticate a machine. Fingerprint scans and facial scans can extremely rarely lead to false positives; this is why development is currently leaning towards vein-scanning technology, as it would render less false acceptances into another person’s system (no false positives have been witnessed in the research).


It is actually interesting and exciting to see the elderly actually engaged in using a newer technology; in past cases, older family members often turn away technology but we are seeing an embrace of it at a rapid weight. Some of the elderly people we survey have new iPhone/Android phones that incorporate fingerprint scanners into their hardware; they say they enjoy it because they do not have to remember a password (the less clicks to do something for an elderly person, the better). According to our survey at this point, 76% of elderly people use technology often; with that information, it can be inferred that 100% of that group of people are vulnerable to cyber attacks and need security measures to protect their data and personal information.


We have encountered a challenge; an original goal of this research project was to create an app/software that would improve upon the current biometric softwares provided by Intel and the companies that actually make the hardware, but making one would be almost like reinventing the wheel and would take years of algorithm research and intense development. Rather than create our own version of our vision of these applications, we will forward our research to these companies in hopes that they can make improvements on what we have found to be troublesome aspects. Maneuvering around patents would also make for a huge hassle; it is best if we let the original creators refine their application.

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