Privacy Concerns, Expense Keep Biometrics Out of U.S. ATMs

What would seem to be a budding market has yet to materialize in U.S.


Diebold has tested ATMs with iris scans, but banks have yet to adopt the scanning because the systems were expensive and the cameras too large for small ATMs. Users had to practically put their noses on the screen for the scan to work.

Iridian Technologies, based in Morristown, N.J., has developed a smaller camera that costs under $1,000 and can photograph the iris of a user 18 inches away, said CEO Frank Fitzsimmons.

Linda Campbell, 49, of Springfield, said she probably would use a fingerprint ATM as long as she was sure that no one else could obtain her fingerprint.

But Connie Steele doesn't believe the technology would add that much more security to the card-and-PIN system.

"If I'm a thief and I've got the card, I still don't have your PIN number, so how could they use it?" said Steele, 57, of West Milton.

Supporters of the technologies are confident that bank customers eventually will accept the new ATMs.

"The real holy grail in biometrics," said Jim Block, Diebold's director of global advanced technology, "is let's get rid of the PIN so no one has anything to steal anymore."