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3 min read

4+ Biometric Considerations for Access Control and Your Local Laws on the Topic

When it comes to evaluating the adoption of a new technology for your security program, many considerations must be on the table related to operations at your facility, cyber security, data security, and more. PLUS, don't forget about those pesky state and local laws that protect personal data, especially when it comes to biometric identifiers like finger prints, facial features, and other unique identifiers.

To evaluate your options, leaning on an expert security consultant is critical. Facial biometrics have become increasingly popular in recent years as a means of physical access control, offering an alternative to traditional methods such as access cards, fobs, or PIN codes. And now, even the most secure federal organizations are closer to accepting facial biometrics as an equal to fingerprints.

Here are 4 top reasons facial biometrics are an excellent choice for physical access control AND a Bonus Reason:

Enhanced Security

Facial biometrics offer a higher level of security compared to traditional access control methods. Facial recognition technology uses sophisticated algorithms to analyze facial features and identify individuals, making it much more difficult to fool the system than with a simple access card or PIN code. And, by eliminating a card credential, a lost card can't be used to gain unauthorized access before it is deactivated.


Facial biometrics are incredibly convenient for users. They eliminate the need for carrying an access card or remembering a PIN code, making the entry process much faster and easier. This convenience makes them ideal for high-traffic areas where speed and ease of access are essential. Lower friction in the security process will increase adherence to policies and procedures.


Facial biometric systems are becoming more affordable, making them a cost-effective option for physical access control. Compared to traditional methods such as access cards, facial recognition systems don not require issuing fobs or card credentials, saving time and money.


Facial biometrics are unique to each individual, making them non-transferable. This means that access cannot be granted to anyone other than the authorized user, which helps to prevent unauthorized access and reduce the risk of security breaches. Pro tip: be sure to implement anti-tailgating measures, like LiDAR, at all sensitive areas.


Facial biometrics are now being considered as reliable as fingerprints. The Federal Identity, Credential and Access Management (FICAM) architecture standards must be adhered to by federal government entities. And FIPS 201 is now laying the groundwork for incorporation of biometric identification in future deployments. Read more from SIA about recent and upcoming changes to FICAM and FIPS 201 here. 

Not so fast! What about the law?

Fortunately, the Security Industry Association (SIA) has compiled a guide to state and local laws pertaining to biometric data. According to the SIA, "13 states and 23 local jurisdictions have laws specifically addressing facial recognition technology. It can be challenging to navigate this legal landscape, as all such laws are relatively new and untested. Some are also very complex. It is imperative that any business supplying and any commercial or government entity using facial recognition technology products in a jurisdiction where such laws apply should consult an attorney to ensure compliance; however, it is hoped that this guide can serve as a starting point regarding the requirements and provide additional policy perspectives that could assist with informed compliance efforts."

Download the SIA's Guide to State and Local Laws on Facial Recognition Technology here >> (Free for SIA members, $349 for non-members)



Facial biometrics offer numerous benefits for physical access control systems. Enhanced security, convenience, cost-effectiveness, and non-transferability are just some of the reasons why this technology is becoming increasingly popular. With the continuous advancements in facial recognition technology, it's likely that we'll see even more applications of this technology in the future.

Contact us to discuss implementation of biometrics in your physical access control program >>

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Security professionals are constantly looking for innovative ways to secure their facility and provide a safe environment within their budget. And, they are also constantly looking for resources to help them achieve that mission while expert advice is hard to come by. 

Fortunately, we have released a considerations guide that will help security professionals perform their own in-house security risk assessment. 

What's Inside?

This guide is intended to assist you with performing an in-house physical security risk assessment. In many cases, assistance from a third-party expert, like Theseus Professional Services, is required.

Identification of missing or inadequate physical security measures that safeguard assets (people, property, and information) and critical business functions is of paramount importance. The findings of a security risk assessment are used to measure and communicate the level of risk to the organization.

  • Process Evaluation
  • Threats
  • Vulnerability Assessment Highlights
  • Electronic Security Systems Considerations
  • Site Considerations
  • Building Entrances and Exits
  • Common Functional Areas
  • Building Envelope
  • Utilities and Building Services
  • Building Systems

Download here >>






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