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Biometric Technology Enjoys Strong Support from Consumers, Says CTA

Arlington, VA – March 30, 2016 – 
   As the number of consumer technology products with biometric sensors grows, a majority (62 percent) of U.S. adults who have used biometric technology are comfortable with it, according to new research from the Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA)™. The report Biometric Technologies: Understanding Consumer Sentiments also finds that nearly two-thirds of all consumers support biometric technologies for altruistic purposes in medical research (58 percent) and assistive technology (67 percent).
 
   “Biometric sensors are changing the world – whether it’s helping people with Alzheimer’s and people with low vision identify their loved ones through voice and facial recognition, or providing stronger, more individualized personal security,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association. “We are seeing a shift in consumer perception of biometrics that demonstrates an understanding of the benefits – such as streamlined security and personalized services - this technology offers. And as consumers become more familiar with the benefits of biometrics tech, that favorable perception will only grow – the industry has an enormous opportunity here.”
 
   The survey captures consumers’ perception levels with different biometrics uses and settings, and trust levels with organizations likely to manage biometric information. Key findings from the survey include:
 
  • Consumer awareness and adoption: Although fewer than half of U.S. adults have adopted or used any biometric technology, digital fingerprinting (29 percent) and voice recognition (13 percent) are the most widely used technologies. Consumers are most familiar with biometrics commonly portrayed in the media – such as DNA analysis – and biometrics they have seen in the market, such as fingerprint readers on smartphones.
  • Consumer comfort levels: More than half of U.S. adults are either very comfortable or comfortable with the use of biometrics in locations commonly believed to already have a high degree of security screening – airports and national borders – and places perceived to lack safety – high crime areas and public schools. Also, almost half of consumers are comfortable using biometric technologies at home and/or the workplace.
  • Consumer trust levels: Organizations that consumers view as traditionally handling sensitive information or that serve important life functions such as hospitals and banks have the highest trust level (64 percent).
   “Consumers increasingly demand targeted, relevant tech services and products,” says Shapiro. “And as more consumer technologies include innovations to improve accessibility and convenience, our industry is committed to strong consumer data privacy protections and transparency. Innovation and strong consumer privacy can and do co-exist.”
 
   To show industry commitment, in 2015, CTA unveiled its Guiding Principles on the Privacy and Security of Personal Wellness Data – a first-of-its-kind set of voluntary privacy guidelines for private sector firms that handle personal wellness data-the data often generated by wearable technologies.
 
   Biometric Technologies: Understanding Consumer Sentiments was designed and formulated by CTA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer technology industry. The complete report is free to CTA member companies at members.CTA.tech. Non-members can purchase at store.CTA.tech.
 
About the Consumer Technology Assocation

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM is the trade association representing the $287 billion U.S. consumer technology industry. More than 2,200 companies – 80 percent are small businesses and startups; others are among the world’s best known brands – enjoy the benefits of CTA membership including policy advocacy, market research, technical education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CTA also owns and produces CES® – the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. Profits from CES are reinvested into CTA’s industry services.

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