The majority of citizens around the world say they are willing to share their biometric details, including fingerprints, to verify their identities when travelling across international borders.
Consulting firm Accenture surveyed 3,000 citizens in six countries and 89 percent said they would share such details, although most of those (69 percent) said they had not shared any biometric information to date.
Survey respondents were from Australia, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US, and the majority believed biometrics can play a "significant role" in facilitating faster and more secure travel while protecting borders.
When asked about the specific benefits of sharing biometrics, almost two-thirds (62 percent) of those surveyed are willing to share biometric information to make their country’s borders "more secure", speed up customs and border control processing (58 percent), and "make travel more convenient" (56 percent).
Mark Crego, who leads Accenture’s global border and identity services business, said: “The majority of citizens are willing to share biometric details to help increase border security and, at the same time, reap benefits such as faster processing times at borders and more convenient travel.”
More than half (58 percent) of those surveyed said they would likely share their biometric details in registered traveller programmes (RTP’s) that allow pre-registered passengers to have faster, easier processing through customs and border control.
The survey also found nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of citizens support the use of biometrics to verify the identities of all persons crossing borders (citizens and visitors), and a similar number (73 percent) believe that using biometrics to verify the identity of everyone crossing the border would make countries more secure.
Crego said: "The strong support by citizens for technologies that can improve travel and secure borders demonstrates how important it is for border management agencies to continue adopting new tools that meet the demands of citizens.
"Increasing the use of biometrics and introducing registered traveller programmes can make travelling faster, safer and more convenient and strengthen both border and national security through improved intelligence gathering.”
But despite the general support for shared biometrics, more than two-thirds of respondents (68 percent) said that prior to deciding to share their biometric information, they would want to know what security measures were in place to protect the data. And 67 percent would first want to know how their personal information would be used.