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SIBA chairman discusses responsible use of biometrics in private and public sectors


In a statement released yesterday, Paul Schuepp, chairman of the board at the Secure Identity & Biometrics Association (SIBA) discussed the importance of responsible use of biometric technologies in commercial and government sectors.

“The biometric community has the ability and responsibility to proactively engage the most pressing economic and national security policy issues that involve human access or identification facing the United States today,” said Schuepp. “The Secure Identity & Biometrics Association is the non-profit trade association poised to do just that.”

SIBA founder and leader Janice Kephart certainly has a high level of influence and credibility being the former 9/11 Commission and Senate counsel.

Under her leadership, SIBA continues to see a growth in membership, which Schuepp said helps to “bridge the gap between industry, government and the media in supporting policies and solutions that protect Americans while supporting a more secure and economically viable America.”

The organization is currently working on establishing a set of private principles to support the Department of Homeland Security’s Air Entry and Exit Re-Engineering Program, which among other things is designed to implement the 16 year statutory requirement for a biometric exit program, said Schuepp.

On October 21, SIBA will hold a private sector meeting for all interested biometric vendors at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. where it will address and better establish these principles.

The meeting marks the first step toward solidifying a public-private partnership with DHS, said Schuepp.

Schuepp also talks about how the government has been using biometric technologies to help combat the “growing problem of anonymous entry over our southern border,” but could also be used in the healthcare sector.

In particular, Schuepp brings up the example of how The Affordable Care Act has brought along an influx of millions of new subscribers.

The identity and medical records of these new healthcare subscribers are not assured or protected – an issue that Schuepp believes biometrics can help to resolve once the government establishes an expertise and a private-public partnership. Schuepp also mentions that in the private sector, SIBA became the first biometrics organization to have its members present at the Commerce Department’s NTIA meetings.

SIBA founding member Animetrics presented at the meeting, addressing the enforceable code of conduct on facial recognition applications in the commercial sector.

“SIBA will continue to watch carefully the increasing deployment of biometric products by companies like Apple, where the most essential protection on these devices is inevitably the identity access and verification on the device – the biometric,” said Schuepp. “That means the biometric must be fail-safe for convenience, security and privacy.”

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