The future is full of opportunity but the pace of change is daunting

Biometrics Institute On the Pulse Conversation online member meeting

29 June 2023: The Biometrics Institute hosted a recent On the Pulse Conversation to discuss predictions for the future of biometrics and responsible use of the technology. The conversation was moderated by Roger Baldwin, Advisory Council Member of the Biometrics Institute, and featured viewpoints from Clive Summerfield, Founder and CEO of FARx, Jo√£o Ferreira, Head of Research at Vision-Box, and Carl Gohringer, Vice President of Global Public Sector Business Development at Paravision.

Biometrics Institute members share predictions on the future of biometrics

The conversation covered a wide range of topics, including the increasing use of voice biometrics, the potential for biometrics to improve security and personalisation, and the challenges posed by synthetic media and deepfakes.

Over the past six months the Biometrics Institute has undertaken an exercise to predict our future over the next 10 years and how we can continue to ensure the responsible and ethical use of biometrics. During its three recent conferences in Brussels, Sydney and Washington DC discussions were held with members and in addition to this a questionnaire was presented asking key questions about the future including views about geopolitical developments, technology innovation and the shift in perception of privacy.

Some of these questions were brought into the online member meeting which was attended by over 70 members of the Institute coming together from Australia, Europe, North America and New Zealand. Exchanges in the online chat were extremely interactive while the presentations and discussion were taking place.

While the meeting was held under Chatham House Rule we are able to share some insights. Three Institute members presented a three-minutes viewpoint, a key benefit of membership, followed by an intense conversation of subject matter experts from the Institute’s Advisory Council, Board and Expert Groups.

Voice and face are interlinked

We discussed the future of fused biometrics, which combines multiple biometric traits to create a more secure and reliable identification system. Summerfield referred to voice and face being particularly well-suited for fusion, after all voices come from faces.

Is the industry trading privacy for security?

Ferreira spoke about the importance of ensuring the responsible and ethical use of biometrics. He highlighted the need for clear regulation and guidelines to protect privacy and prevent discrimination.

The vulnerabilities that deepfakes cast

The role of liveness detection and deepfake detection in safeguarding identity schemes was another viewpoint discussed. Gohringer explained how biometrics and facial recognition is being used more in these situations to help prevent fraud as more identification schemes move to a stakeholder not present model.

The conversation shifted to artificial intelligence (AI) and how that will continue to transform the future. To what extent will AI disrupt workforces and economies? Will AI be use used to train AI to avoid the deepfakes? It will be an arms race. We need to find ways to identify people seamlessly as they move between the physical and the virtual worlds as well as the metaverse.

Keeping pace with the rate of change

Education will continue to be critical. It will lead to engagement which will then lead to assurance. We need to have a voice to help shape what media is covering as what is being talked about has an impact.

The biggest challenge seems to be that we cannot keep up with the rate of change. The speed is overwhelming and we will need to find ways to be better prepared. There may be some uncertainty about what lies ahead, but what is certain is the need to start with the Three Laws of Biometrics to ensure we come up with policies before new systems are deployed.

The On the Pulse Conversation is part of the Biometrics Institute’s ongoing efforts to engage with stakeholders. It provides a forum for open and frank discussion about biometrics to put an end to the fiction, by focussing on the facts.


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, ethical and effective use of biometrics.

For more information, please email Marco Lombardi:


Lead the debate with us on the
responsible use of Biometrics