This is the summary of the article by William Gilmore and S. Altan Erdem, which talks about the pros and cons of recent behavioral marketing techniques, and the use of biometrics to improve these techniques. You can get the PDF of the behavioral targeting article here: Online Internet Marketing Using Biometrics..
Common online behavior tracking techniques
The most common way to track user online behavior is with cookies. They are used to track behavior by observing a user’s mouse clicks. The aim is to obtain enough data to record a user profile and determine his/her preferences, so that ads can be personally served, increasing a user’s purchasing desire. The downside of this technique is that there may be multiple users in one computer, such as in public venues. Furthermore, browsers now have the option of deleting cookies and choosing to prevent some or all cookies from gathering data.
Another common technique is the use of username and passwords. This method is more effective than cookies because tracking a user’s preferences become more personalized. However, some users share their usernames and passwords with others, while it is highly likely for several users to have the same usernames and passwords. It may be frustrating for users as well to keep track of these info in various websites.
Use of biometrics
Biometrics can solve this problem, as it is a method used to look for unique clues in an individual for identification. There are many hardware/software devices to perform biometrics, but the most common device in the market right now is for fingerprint recognition. With this technology, consumers don’t have to memorize their biometric identification, and they can’t lose it; a problem with passwords, PIN numbers, etc. It’s possible to forge biometrics but that is too expensive and difficult. The efficiency of effectiveness of biometrics is just stellar.
Biometrics technology in demand
Biometrics is increasingly in demand, and this is primarily due to the prevalence of identity theft and online fraud. The internet banking environment has specified that the use of username/password is not enough, and that other methods, including biometrics, should supplement it. More recently released laptops also have biometrics in them. In the European Union, driver’s licenses and passports already have biometrics.
Biometrics in the market today
In terms of commercial development, biometric technology is still in its early stages. The fingerprint reader is sold commercially today more for its purposes of conveniences rather than security. There are also rooms for development; i.e., reducing the chances of accepting the wrong fingerprint. In that regard, a password is still superior. Security is also a concern, and there are instances of reported hideous crimes involving criminals cutting off fingers of victims to jumpstart a car that is protected by fingerprint recognition system. This may be on the extreme end of security, but as with new technologies, crime needs to be addressed.
Now, biometrics is slowly increasing in popularity in the United States. The primary push is hosted by online companies that seek to obtain more personalized data for marketing purposes. Biometrics can help these companies not only identify customers individually and hand out effective targeted ads, they can also provide unmatched security.