Biometrics Institute Good Practice Framework and consultative workshops

Biometrics Institute Good Practice Framework

Biometric technology is a fast-moving market, but the lack of legislation or trusted universal good practice guidance has seen gaps in knowledge impact reputation, privacy and security.

The Biometrics Institute has been promoting the responsible and ethical use of biometrics for 18 years. Last year we began working on the Biometrics Institute Good Practice Framework. This document is a first-of-its-kind good practice tool that outlines the stages of the strategic planning, procurement and operation of a biometric system or network. Its primary function is to provide a structured pathway through the factors that may influence or constrain a biometric application.

In compiling the framework, our experts drew from a number of source documents that have been published over the last few years. These include the United Nations compendium for good practices in counter-terrorism – for which the institute was the penholder, our own Understanding Biometrics guide, other books and documents, and learnings from real life scenarios.

We presented the first draft of the framework to members and key stakeholders at events in London, Australia and New Zealand at the end of last year and invited feedback from members. We received an overwhelming response from our extensive network including UN agencies, law enforcement and border experts, industry experts, biometrics leaders in government and civil liberties and human rights organisations. Their detailed comments really helped shape the next draft of the document.

The result is a universal and agnostic reference document and benchmark, applicable to any biometric implementation anywhere in the world.

Multi-purpose in its application, it can assist someone with even a limited knowledge of biometrics in procuring, upgrading or expanding a system, providing an overview of what they need to consider.

It can also be used for gap analysis where a system already exists to highlight areas where something might have been missed.

And it can help with a comparative analysis of two or more biometrics applications and indicate where they are similar, where they diverge and how that may change outcomes and public acceptance.

The framework is not an oracle, it’s a series of signposts to guide you in formulating strategies and making ethical and responsible decisions.

Be part of it

We are exclusively inviting members to take part in the second round of consultations, to test the as-yet-unpublished framework with real life scenarios before we release it more widely later this year.

We are looking for people with a varying degree of expertise from across our biometrics community to roll up their sleeves and actively take part in a consultative workshop. We are also inviting regulators and privacy advocates to add their perspectives.

Attendees will be divided into small groups who will each use a section of the framework to work through three different scenarios. Guided by a moderator, the groups will then come back together and present their own findings to enable everyone to see the whole picture.

The scenarios have been carefully chosen to touch on as many issues as possible, without being too complex. We intend to draw out some of the real thorny questions. As the groups work through their section of the framework, they will uncover the issues of most concern like data acquisition, human rights, sharing data between organisations or across borders, bias and questions about false acceptance and false rejection.

The scenarios, dates and locations are:

  • Law enforcement in Washington DC, 22 September 2020
  • Border management in London, 19 October 2020
  • Digital identity in Canberra, 1 December 2020

We continue to monitor how COVID-19 may affect these events.

Why attend?

Attendees will gain a better understanding of the framework as well as being able to actively contribute to its further development.

These consultative workshops will help evaluate the framework and define potential gaps and next steps. These might include specific good practice material or training that the institute will provide in the future.

This really is an opportunity to get an early look at this groundbreaking new tool and learn how to use it and to shape the future of biometrics.

Target audience

Workshop attendees are expected to actively contribute. The workshop is targeted at anyone involved in biometrics including users, government employees, decision-makers, suppliers and those at privacy and policy level. Some understanding of biometrics is important.


The consultative workshops are free for Biometrics Institute members and we expect high demand, so please apply to take part now by emailing

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