March 9, 2017 -
The European Association for Biometrics (EAB) sent a letter to the European Parliament last month requesting legislation to enable easier access to data required for testing biometrics products and systems.
The Management Board and Advisory Council of the EAB stated that it believed an “overly restrictive and non-harmonized legal infrastructure hinders the testing of biometric systems and products for large scale settings, even when applying appropriate safeguards.”
The letter notes that “due to the lack of proper provisions the owners of European identity systems are not capable of receiving appropriately tested technology or able to test their own systems on performance, accuracy and compliancy as appropriate test data is missing in sufficient quality and quantity.
The letter also notes that “a major obstacle exists for the development of new and improved technologies by research organizations and industry based on operational and representative data, which also includes aging factors.”
The EAB therefore argues that Brussels “will not be able to take an autonomous or a leading position in managing and developing” biometric products and systems, and will “remain in a reactive mode compared to researchers and industrial players from countries such as the United States, where large scale testing based on operational biometric data is common practice.”
To respond, the EAB is asking the EU Parliament to ensure that appropriate legislation is proposed to allow for the safe and privacy protected access to existing biometric data from European biometric identity systems for evaluation and research purposes.