Stolen or compromised credentials, notably passwords, remain the single-largest source of data breaches. In a recent Entrust Pulse survey of 1,000 people in the U.S. and UK, over 15% reported having their personal information exposed in a data breach within the past year, with another 13.6% reporting that they were not even aware if their personal data had been leaked. So, thinking about World Password Day tomorrow, it looks like the vicious cycle of stolen passwords and data breaches is poised to continue – or is it?

Much like eating more vegetables and exercising regularly, what many people know they should do versus what they actually do to protect their data can be markedly different. While 79% of respondents to our survey expressed they were either very or somewhat concerned about their data privacy, 42.7% indicated they do not review the terms and conditions before downloading a new app, most citing that this effort simply takes too much time. Additionally, 63.7% were either extremely willing or somewhat willing to trade their personal information in exchange for convenience and/or a more personalized experience like the ability to log in to their banking app with FaceID or reminders to refill their prescription before their medication ran out. Ultimately, only a quarter of respondents cited being proactive with their data privacy.

It seems, though, that all is not lost. Thanks to smartphone biometrics, it looks like the time has finally arrived for people to have their proverbial cake and eat it too. A full 82.6% of survey participants reported they were either very or somewhat comfortable with using and storing their biometric data (e.g., fingerprint, facial scan) to be able to access apps and services.

So, given the many other transformative changes that have occurred over the past year, could 2021 finally be the year we say goodbye to passwords? An odd thing to posit on World Password Day, but it’s something I’m sure we can all appreciate.

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