It is true that the technological advancement is a double-edged sword and every new technology driven product or solution in the market has its own pros and cons. When Electronic Access Control System came, people were wondering about its efficiency without manual intervention. Places where registers were maintained and employee signatures were taken for attendance purpose faced most resistance, as then employees were supposed to swipe their cards on exact time and there could not be any manipulation in terms writing wrong time on the attendance register. But see the beauty of evolution in technology- same technology which was giving assurance to employers of recording correct entry and exit time of each employee had given a solution to employees of Proxy Attendance. It was a need based solution given by the same product designed other wise for entirely a different purpose.

Then Biometric Time Attendance and Access Control Solutions come into picture with a claim to address most of the proxy related issues in cards based attendance system, but the it has its own pros and cons. It’s positive point of authorizing a person by verifying his unique biometric attributes like finger print, iris, or retina is also a reason of some of its negative points. Following are some of the pros and cons of such a system:-

Some of the positives:

  1. First and the most positive point in favor of a biometric system is its ability to recognize and verify unique attributes of a person. Whatever attributes are chosen, to be verified through a biometric scanner are unique to a particular user and hence it’s the most ideal and preferred way of authorizing people in a strict security environment.
  2. It is almost impossible to replicate these attributes and hence the possibility of some one stealing the user name and password is ruled out in this case making the system more reliable than password based access control solutions.
  3. Then the most obvious advantage in this case is for the employers as there is no possibility of proxy attendance in this system, which was other wise very easy in a card based attendance system.
  4. There no need for the users to carry their cards or to remember their passwords as while using a biometric system they are actually carrying all their unique attributes along with them all the time by default.
  5. Although there is a time consuming process of enrolling each new employees attributes in t he system when he joins, but recurring expense of fresh cards along with its printing is no more associated with the system.

Some of the negatives:-

  1. A Biometric System may not work in a factory type of environment, where employees working on various machines may get their oily fingers with grease or something like that. It may not be possible for finger print reader to scan such impressions with a thick oily layer on it.
  2. A biometric machine with high FAR may still cause a problem of permitting even unauthorized people inside the premises. Hence it is better for a machine to have a high FRR, rather than a high FAR.
  3. Although there is saving on recurring expenses of fresh cards for new employees in a biometric attendance system, but still it involves a tedious process of registration of templates of new employees in the reader.

Moreover saving of unique biometric attributes of a person is more of a personal data, which can be seen as an invasion of the users’ privacy proponents. Many users may hesitate to use such a system.

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