Eye-Opening Risks of Iris Scanning


Eye-Opening Risks of Iris Scanning

As much as we share various types of data with different sources in today\’s digital age, sharing biometric data, such as scanning the Iris, is not as common. Biometric data refers to unique physical or behavioral characteristics that can be used for identification or authentication. Iris scanning involves capturing the unique patterns in the colored part of the eye to create a biometric template. The data extracted from an iris scan can be quite sensitive and carries both benefits and risks.

In this article, we highlight some of the major risks of sharing your iris data;

Privacy Concerns: Biometric data is deeply personal and cannot be changed or replaced like a password or username. If this data is mishandled, it can lead to severe privacy infringements and identity theft.

Data Breaches: Storing biometric data, including iris scans, on centralized servers poses a risk of large-scale data breaches. If attackers gain access to this information, it could be exploited for malicious purposes or sold on the dark web.

Surveillance and Tracking: Governments or corporations could potentially misuse iris scans for mass surveillance, tracking individuals without their knowledge or consent. It means someone can control you and access your whereabouts.

Forgery and Spoofing: As with any biometric system, there is always a risk of forgery and spoofing. High-quality fake iris patterns could be used to impersonate individuals. Meaning, someone can use access your valuable sources like the bank, while purporting to be you.

Lack of Control: Once your biometric data is compromised, there is often little you can do to protect yourself. Unlike passwords, which can be changed, you cannot change your biometrics.

Literature perspective

One of the African stereotypes about scanning the iris is the belief that it involves selling one\’s soul or surrendering a part of one\’s spiritual essence.

In conclusion, while Iris scanning has emerged as a cutting-edge biometric technology with promises of heightened security and efficiency, it is essential to acknowledge the potential risks that accompany its widespread adoption. Our eyes, with their intricate and unique patterns, are windows to our identity, making them both a powerful tool for authentication and a vulnerable target for exploitation.


The information presented is based on personal research and should be considered as insights gathered from general knowledge. It is essential to consult with experts or authoritative sources for a more in-depth and accurate understanding of the risks of iris scanning.

– By Boniface Muema Harrison

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