Press Release: As biometrics evolve the industry demands stronger safeguards

 

12 July 2022: Now in its thirteenth year, the Biometrics Institute’s Industry Survey provides an insight into trends and developments from the past year as well as a forecast of what to expect in the future.

The findings highlight attitudes on several key issues and set the tone for the discussions amongst Biometrics Institute members and key stakeholders.

“Digital identity and biometrics remain at the forefront of developments. The surveillance use case creates most of the controversy, not only for government but also in commercial uses,” says Isabelle Moeller, Chief Executive of the Biometrics Institute. “Privacy is the key concern and needs to be addressed through policy and process while testing and standards are essential ingredients for the choice of the technology. It is clear that the Biometrics Institute Three Laws of Biometrics will continue to dictate many of our discussions.”

Reality check: test, test and retest technology

Echoing the Third Law of Biometrics, an introduction to this year’s survey asked how important it is to retest biometrics systems during their lifecycle. Over three-quarters felt it was very important with 86% agreeing that liveness detection in biometrics systems is now more important than ever before. Almost half felt that certification of biometric solutions continues to grow and getting access to the right test data remains a challenge, followed by knowing what testing needs to be conducted and the need to maintain testing throughout the system’s lifecycle.

Significant developments on the horizon

Digital identity continues to be a dominant topic at Institute debates amongst members and those in border management. As a key enabler in biometrics, development in digital identity is expected to increase by 30% followed by artificial intelligence (AI) by 15% in the next 5 years.

It is expected that Face Recognition Technology (FRT) will continue to dominate the biometric industry and three-quarters of respondents agree that deepfake technology poses a significant concern to the future of face recognition. And 60% believe there should still be a focus on developing mask-aware facial recognition capabilities despite the easing of COVID-19 restrictions globally.

Excluding use of biometrics from selected areas

As biometrics continue to play an integral part in day-to-day life, there are some areas respondents feel exclusion is warranted. This includes use in social media and politics (30%) while slightly more than a quarter feel biometrics should be excluded from school administration.

Privacy and data protection continue to be the top priority

57% of industry professionals agree that privacy/data protection concerns continue to restrain the growth and adoption of biometrics. Of these limitations, lack of public trust was selected by half, followed by legislation and governance (44%), misinformation about biometrics (38%) and data sharing concerns (33%). This pattern was very similar to 2021. For the past two decades the Institute has been focusing on developing tools to address these challenges e.g. through its Privacy Guidelines (first released in 2006) and Three Laws of Biometrics which demand that policy and safeguards for biometrics are addressed first in any biometric implementation.

Public surveillance is a primary concern

More than 70% of those surveyed selected linked databases leading to mass surveillance as the main public concern. Misinformation, demographic differentials/ bias, watchlists and use in social media also featured strongly and were each mentioned by at least a third. While two-thirds of industry professionals agreed that organisations’ lack of transparency about how they use biometrics is the cause of the lack of public trust.

This year, just under half (46%) of the respondents were from a supplier organisation, with the remainder predominantly biometric users such as government organisations, banks, and airlines (34%). The remainder represented academics (8%) and other organisations such as regulators and international or European organisations (12%).

A summary report of the 2022 survey findings is freely available from the Biometrics Institute website.

ENDS.

 

Notes to editors:

220 industry professionals across the world completed the online survey in May 2022.

The information in this press release is taken from the summary of the Annual Survey 2022. For further information on the survey findings, please contact manager@biometricsinstitute.org

About the Biometrics Institute:

The Biometrics Institute is the independent and impartial international membership organisation for biometric users and other interested parties. It was established in 2001 to promote the responsible and ethical use of biometrics and has offices in London and Sydney.

The member register which represents a global and diverse multi-stakeholder community now lists over 200 membership organisations from 34 countries. It includes banks, airlines, government agencies, biometric experts, privacy experts, suppliers, academics and 10 Observers representing United Nations agencies, IGOs and European Union institution.

The Biometrics Institute connects the global biometrics community. It shares knowledge with its members and key stakeholders and most importantly, develops good practices and thought leadership for the responsible and ethical use of biometrics.

For more information, please email Marco Lombardi: marco@biometricsinstitute.org


 

Lead the debate with us on the
responsible use of Biometrics