How Jay-Z & Kanye West Used Biometrics to Beat Album Leaks

With the progression of the big data and web capabilities, securing information is a top priority for consumer markets. One industry that has been particularly vulnerable to data leaks is the music and entertainment industry.

Today, it is all too common for consumers to simply download their favorite songs or movies rather than purchasing these products in physical or online stores. Even more problematic is the trend of entertainment media being leaked over the net before the material is officially released to the market.

So when two of the biggest icons in the music industry, Jay-Z and Kanye West, came together for their collaborative project, Watch the Throne, both decided that early leaks of this highly anticipated album were out of the question. Their solution? Relentless attention to detail and the use of biometrics technology.

The duo mapped out their recording process for every song on the album to eliminate any links between recording sessions and Internet feeds. No laptops or web devices were used in the process. No tracks were exchanged via email. Sessions were held in non-traditional locales such as hotel suites, and all artists and produces contributing to the album met with the artists in person.

Meanwhile, executives kept all works in progress and finished recordings stored on secured hard drives. These hard drives were locked in briefcases that could only be accessed by fingerprint scans. Their approach proved to be highly effective, and in the end, their plan to avoid any leaks of the album was a success. What these two moguls accomplished with Watch the Throne provides a positive outlook for other big names in the music and entertainment industry.

Biometric technology offers a ray of hope in terms of cyber security for not only the music industry, but for a number of other industries as well. Here, we discuss four other industries that could benefit from incorporating the use of biometric technology.

Online Education

Online education programs have seen growing enrollment numbers in recent years due to convenience, versatility and new developments in Internet capabilities. In fact, a recently published academic resource stated that the number of schools offering of online courses increased by 50% over one single year. That said, one of the drawbacks of this educational format is that it can be difficult to verify whether the student is actually the one completing the online coursework.

Some programs have specialized browsers students must download with software that records them while they complete online work. Yet, this can be a hassle and offers little flexibility. Biometric functionality could be a great alternative as user identity could be verified by fingerprint. Even eye scan technology without compromising the freedom and flexibility the student desires.

Smart Homes and Vehicles

With the integration of biometrics into the development of smart home and vehicle technology, using traditional keys for access could soon be a thing of the past. The convenience and enhancements offered by smart technology in homes and vehicles via the power of the Internet could revolutionize the way we live and move about the world.

But with the convenience and access to data provided by the Internet comes a growing concern of data security. Hackers could potentially find ways to access sensitive data such as passwords, lock codes and personal information as long as there is Internet access. Incorporating biometrics into this new functionality could offer the greatest potential for safety and security.

Health Care

Like most industries, the healthcare field has come to depend more on electronic record keeping over recent years and has shifted to a digital coding system to keep track of treatment and patient information. Of course, this means patients can also be more vulnerable to having others gain unwanted access to their personal healthcare information such as whether you’re taking medication for depression or even billing information. The use of biometric technology could help ensure that only specific healthcare professionals, such as the patient’s primary physician, can access patient history such as illnesses, treatments, and other information.

Financial Sector

Digital information in the financial sector is one of the greatest areas of concern. Despite extensive measures by governments and companies to secure consumer data, there are countless cases where breaches have occurred. In 2015 alone, there were over 77,00 cyber attacks directed towards the United State’s government.

Customers have fallen victim to hackers through mobile and online purchases, enrolling in online financial services, or simply registering on sites using their financial information. Even in-person transactions can put consumers at risk since more companies are shifting to web-based services to house important information.

Fortunately, biometric security capabilities could be a viable solution to this growing problem.

Whether it is a matter of keeping a new album release under wraps, protecting homes and vehicles equipped with smart capabilities, or providing maximum protection for the financial data of customers, industry experts should consider ways that biometrics could improve data security. Most current uses of biometric security include fingerprint scan technology, but other uses could include iris scanning, DNA, or other unique physical identifiers.

This post was originally published on and is republished here with permission from the author.

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