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Apple Pay, Touch ID, and the iPhone 6 — Biometrics Boost Consumer Privacy for Mobile Commerce

A decade of intense debate over whether consumer biometrics is a privacy boosting or privacy busting technology may finally be over. Apple’s September 2014 announcements introducing the Touch ID enabled iPhone 6, the Apple Pay mobile payment ecosystem, and Apple’s new privacy policy, decisively position biometrics as a critical enabler of consumer-centric privacy in the world of mobile commerce.

Taken together, the three components of Apple’s latest portfolio – Apple Pay, Touch ID, and embedded device privacy – have done more to break open the mobile marketplace for consumer biometrics than biometric industry insiders, associations, and advocates have in more than a decade.

With the Touch ID enabled iPhone 6, iOS 8 and Apple Pay, Apple is offering consumers biometrical secured devices and mobile phone transactions. At the same time, Apple has assured customers that the company will not have access to the data on their iPhones, will not track or store users’ iPhone transaction footprint, nor will they have the ability to comply with government warrants or subpoenas for data on these mobile phones.

Acuity latest Market Brief “The ABC’s of Mobility: Apple, Biometrics, and the Promise of Consumer-Centric Privacy” explains that this move towards biometric-based consumer control of personal and personally identifiable information represents a dramatic marketplace shift. A shift away from the much-reviled credit bureau model where unaccountable corporate entities like Experian and TransUnion own and manage consumer financial profiles. Or, the business models of Google and Facebook that power multi-billion dollar enterprises by capturing and monetizing consumers’ personal and financial behavior and online footprints without their knowledge or consent.

With these strategic moves in the areas of commerce and privacy, Apple has initiated what may very well be a fundamental transformation of both the role of the mobile phone and the market dynamics surrounding the ownership and management of consumer data.

Welcome to the new world of consumer-centric privacy!

Additional insight, analysis, and comprehensive market data for mobile biometrics markets will be included in “The Global Biometrics and Mobility Report: The Convergence of Commerce and Privacy”  available in November 2014. 20% Pre-Publication Discounts available on Orders placed by October 28, 2014

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