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.
We launched the framework in July 2020 and it is now available to our members.
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.
We launched the framework to members at an event on 16 July 2020. The online workshop comprised six biometrics experts using parts of the framework to work through the requirements of a fictional developing country that wanted to introduce biometrics to modernise its border management capabilities.
In a poll of participants at this launch workshop, 96% said they thought the framework would be very or quite useful for their organisation.
A copy of the framework and a recording of this workshop is available to members to buy. Please contact Carolyn to find out more.
We will be announcing more training and workshops to help members use the framework in the coming months.