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MEDIA RELEASE: Biometrics Institute releases a revised version of its Biometrics Privacy Guidelines to Members

16 May 2017

Sydney / London – The Biometrics Institute is finalising the revision of its Biometrics Privacy Guidelines during Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) and is briefing its members at the Biometrics Institute Asia-Pacific Conference on the 17-18 May 2017 in Sydney on the key elements of the revision.

One of the Biometrics Institute key drivers is to encourage the responsible use and development of biometrics and privacy protection. 

There has been an explosion of commerce based on electronic data use, which create opportunities but also a challenge, requiring much higher levels of privacy awareness and technology security. Biometrics plays a critical role in that protection but it must be accompanied by more sophisticated privacy awareness and management.

The other challenge is the immigration, refugee movements, criminal hacking and terrorism that is changing the face of the way societies operate. Identity creation and management is a critical issue.

“Biometrics can help here but it must be accompanied by a respect for privacy and people's rights,” says Isabelle Moeller, Chief Executive of the Biometrics Institute, “that is why the Biometrics Institute leads the way in providing readable, down to earth advice about privacy in its Privacy Guidelines and about technology through its technical and digital committees.”

The Guidelines are intended to be a guide across many different countries and jurisdictions. It takes into account that biometrics and information technologies do connect beyond national boundaries and across different fields as diverse as health records, border controls, retail, consumer based applications in the telecommunications industry, finance and banking and drivers’ licenses.

The Biometrics Privacy Guidelines are upgraded every two years as a result of monitoring technology and regulation changes throughout the world. They have been designed by the Biometrics Institute to provide a guide for suppliers, end users, researchers, managers and purchasers of biometric systems. It is the public’s assurance that the biometric managers have followed best practice privacy principles when designing, implementing and managing biometric based projects.

The Biometrics Institute Privacy Expert Group (PEG) monitors the changes and recommends appropriate amendments after receiving feedback from its members. The PEG covers a wide spectrum of experts from around the world and from different sectors such as universities, banks, social media, government, major technology providers and privacy advocates.

The Biometrics Privacy Guidelines contain sixteen principles addressing issues such as Proportionality, Informed Consent, Protection of Biometric Data Collected, Purpose, Accountability and Sharing of biometric data amongst others.

The Biometrics Privacy Guidelines will be given to organisations joining the Biometrics Institute or renewing their membership to provide guidance for the implementation of biometric technologies. A review of the Guidelines is planned in 2 years' time to keep it current. 

The Biometrics Institute was established as an independent and international impartial not-for-profit organisation in 2001 and is now operating at an international level with offices in London and Sydney. It has over 220 member organisations. Its members cover users such as banks, airlines, governments and law enforcement authorities, a wide range of suppliers as well as research organisations.

It holds regular events to facilitate the dialogue around best-practice and responsible use of biometrics and a calendar of events can be found online.

For enquiries or feedback on the Guidelines please contact:
Isabelle Moeller | +44 20 7581 4827
Email: manager@biometricsinstitute.org, Web: www.biometricsinstitute.org

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