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Media Release: Biometrics Institute and stakeholders confirm important agenda for the promotion of responsible and ethical use of biometrics


Over 270 Biometrics Institute members and stakeholders met during the Biometrics Congress and associated events in London last week to agree on an action plan to promote the responsible and ethical use of biometrics.

“This is an exciting time for biometrics. The technology has come a long way and our biometric community is aware of its capabilities but also its challenges and limitations,” summarises Isabelle Moeller, Chief Executive, Biometrics Institute, “Privacy, data protection, a lack of standards and certification for digital identity and ethical use remain the main focus.”

Throughout the week, interactive and off-the-record discussions allowed for a very open and honest dialogue on how the industry can move forward and ensure the responsible use of biometrics.

The events were attended by government agencies, financial institutions, aviation representatives as well as many international organisations from around 28 countries.  The Institute has a 17 year track-record in connecting the industry in Europe, the Asia-Pacific and North America and will continue its global awareness campaign.

It was agreed to develop much needed additional good practice papers focusing on questions of presentation attack detection and the use of facial biometrics. The material will then be used to provide education and training to the biometric community.

The Biometrics Institute is well-placed to provide thought-leadership and guidance on important questions including how to balance security, convenience and privacy, how to harness biometric technology to create social enablement, how to manage identity in the uncontrolled digital space and how to manage identities along the travel continuum.

The Institute has produced a range of good practice guiding material available to its members including Understanding Biometrics - Considerations for Implementing a Biometric System, the Privacy Guidelines and the UN Compendium of Recommended Practices for the Responsible Use and Sharing of Biometrics in Counter-terrorism, a joint-project with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate.

Moeller summarises the discussions of the week: “We are at an important junction. We have seen the adoption of biometrics develop at a speed that makes it challenging for legislation, standards and policies to keep pace. The Institute, with its diverse membership, is well placed to lead the way on where we want to go with biometrics. There was unanimous agreement amongst our members that ethical questions need to be an integral part of that approach. We want to see successful implementations of biometrics and create a world that is a better place through the responsible and ethical use of biometrics”.

The next gathering of the Biometrics Institute members and stakeholders is on the 28 November 2018 in Canberra at the Showcase Australia conference followed by the ID at the Borders and Travel conference on the 9-10 May in Vienna, in partnership with OSCE; the Asia-Pacific Conference on the 22-23 May 2019 and next year’s Biometrics Congress which will be held at the QEII Conference Centre in London on the 29-30 October 2019.

The Biometrics Institute is the independent and impartial international membership organisation for biometric users and other interested parties. It connects the global biometrics community, provides information to its members and key stakeholders and most importantly, it develops good practices and thought-leadership for the responsible and ethical use of biometrics.
It has over 250  membership organisations from around the world representing a multi-stakeholder community including government agencies, other users, suppliers, academic and privacy experts.

For more information, please contact Isabelle Moeller at the Biometrics Institute, Tel: +44 7887 414 887,