November 25, 2014 -
Latin America has become the largest growing market for biometric technology used for identifying individuals and is increasingly being used by the region’s governments, biometric expert Sergio Valdez said at the recent Second International Security Meeting (EISCE) in Quito, Ecuador.
“It is being applied in many Latin American countries” at a rapid rate “precisely because of the volume of the critical mass of inhabitants,” said Valdez, director of business development of the multinational 3M for Latin America.
According to market projections, the global biometric market is expected to grow to about $US10 billion annually between 2030 and 2035, said Valdez.
Valdez spoke on the first day of EISCE, a conference attended by Ecuadorian and international experts to address the issue of public policy in the field of security.
He said that 50 to 60% of the region’s people could be registered in the next four to five years by biometric systems.
Valdez also emphasized how important procedures in managing information security and personal data are, clarifying that it “is not just about getting information about citizens” but also about ensuring “that the data is only used for what it has to be used for”.
Governments must take it upon themselves to ensure the secure management of this data, particularly in light of WikiLeaks leaking sensitive data from international spy networks and leaked documents from former US National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden.
Valdez added that public agencies are showing growing interest in protecting information while also wanting “at the same time, to use what might be available” and “sharing it with other agencies”.
To accomplish this, Valdez said it would require “not only the technology to be able to capture the information of citizens but also to restrict its use”.
The majority of Latin American countries are actively promoting security despite the information exchange being increasingly used to secure borders, track criminals and achieve other functions, said Valdez.