Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC) 2012

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Biometric Authentication on a Mobile Device: A Study of User Effort, Error and Task Disruption

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Shari Trewin
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
United States

Cal Swart
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
United States

Larry Koved
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
United States

Jacquelyn Martino
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
United States

Kapil Singh
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
United States

Shay Ben-David
IBM Research Haifa
Israel

Abstract:
We examine three biometric authentication modalities - voice, face and gesture - as well as password entry, on a mobile device under six conditions, to explore the relative demands on user time, effort, error and task disruption. Our laboratory study also provided observations of user actions, strategies, and reactions to the authentication methods. Face and voice biometrics conditions were faster than password entry. Also, speaking a PIN was the fastest for biometric sample entry, but short-term memory recall was better in the face veri cation condition. None of the authentication conditions were considered very usable. In the two conditions that each combined two biometric entry methods, the time to acquire the biometric samples was shorter than if acquired separately but they were very unpopular and had high memory task error rates. These quantitative results demonstrate cognitive and motor differences between biometric authentication modalities, and inform policy decisions in selecting authentication methods.

 

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