Recently, I cut one of my fingers fairly significantly. As it heals my fingerprint changes. Because of this, my phone and laptop no longer unlocks. However, due to the fact both devices are mine and I can access them by using PIN and passwords I am able to ‘update’ my fingerprint.
When we use biometrics in work with vulnerable communities, we need to design in safeguards so that people can also change or ‘update’ their fingerprints. Some of the people won’t have fingerprints. They will have worn off after years or hard labour or burnt off after years of picking up hot pans. And yes, some people lose fingers or cut them like me. However, when the device, containing the image of the fingerprint to match, is owned and controlled by us, updating or changing the fingerprint data is painstakingly difficult for the person.
People are different. People change. Plan for it.
And of course, this doesn’t just apply to fingerprint biometrics. It can apply to most biometrics.