BIO-key International: A conversation with CEO Mike DePasquale

January 3, 2014 - 

Fresh off the heels of new funding, and recent expansions, BIO-key International is looking to make a mark in the mobile fingerprint authentication space with its new platform, FreeChoiceID.

Mike DePasquale, the company’s current CEO, has been at the helm since 2003, and is responsible for the company’s strategic decision-making and day-to-day operations. had a chance to chat with DePasquale to talk about the company, authentication as well as the future for biometrics.

BIO-key has its fingers in many different pots, but has recently given special focus to authentication systems, and in particular, in the mobile space.  The company recently changed its corporate tagline to “Revolutionizing Authentication.”

“We believe that if we can allow the consumer or the enterprise user the flexibility in where they store their biometrics they’ll be more apt to use and adopt the technology and they’ll be more comfortable that their privacy and security has been protected. Free choice ID is an extension of our core technology that will allow that biometrics to be in place wherever that user chooses, and will allow for recording and reporting back of where that biometric has been accessed,” DePasquale said of the company’s new mobile platform set to launch this year.

“We’ll have an audit trail for a consumer to know when their biometric was accessed. Before that, we’ll give them the flexibility to device where that biometric will be stored.”

“BIO-key, in the context of fingerprint biometrics is revolutionizing authentication by coming up with the most flexible on-device and in the cloud biometric security technology that’s available.”

Usability is key, DePasquale says. “[Password systems] have become so complex that it isn’t usable anymore. Biometrics is the most accurate, most scalable and the easiest to use.”

“Our tech is device independent and sensor independent. This gives us a significant competitive advantage.”

BIO-key is a member of the FIDO Alliance, which is also heavily focused on mobile authentication, though DePasquale thinks that cloud authentication will continue to play an important role in security systems.

“FIDO is a wonderful step forward in creating some standards for high-level multifactor security and authentication. I don’t believe one size fits all. I believe there will be a combination of cloud-based and device authentication required in the future,” DePasquale said.

“We believe that cloud-based authentication is going to be a part of the process. In fact, identity proofing is going to be the biggest issue that will stand in the way of device-only authentication.”

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Adam Vrankulj is an editor for His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj