Investigating the User Experience of Smartphone Authentication Schemes - The Role of the Mobile Context

AbstractToday’s smartphones feature several authentication methods not only to protect the overall device but also to control access to mobile banking and commerce apps, for example. However, to date there is no clear understanding on how users perceive different authentication methods in light of different usage contexts. To close this gap, we report on a study (N=22) in which we compared four recent authentication schemes on Android devices (Face Unlock, fingerprint scanning, NFC ring and PIN) in four different mobile settings (private vs. public, moving vs. stationary). We found that Fingerprint scanning turned out to be a well-suited and accepted authentication scheme over all four investigated contexts. While the NFC-based ring authentication is seen as less suitable for private settings, Face Unlock is disliked for public settings.


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