US military tests continuous multi-factor biometric verification on Android phones

The US Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is testing Android phones which continually verify the identity of the person using the device. The phones automatically lock when they are put down or moved and unlock once multi-factor biometric criteria is met.

The biometric system is hardware-based, and a ‘trust score’ is continuously generated by analysing the users gait (the way a person walks), face, voice and location, reports Federal Computer Week.

Fifty phones are being used in the test but the chipset, developed by Qualcomm, could be used in other mobile devices, laptops or wearables.

The agency specifically went after hardware rather than software because “it could get smaller” and provide a higher level of assurance, DISA scientist Stephen Wallace told FCW. “If you do it at a software level, you’re dependent on the hardware below it for your security.”