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TT Services executive shares insights about biometrics


TT Services’ announced that global projects coordinator Bill Sillery shared his insights into the current and future state of biometrics in the latest April issue of New Zealand Security Magazine.

Sillery has significant experience in the biometrics industry, having previously served as a senior advisor to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for its Temporary Residents Biometric Project.

Before that he was a solution architect for the UK visa biometric enrollment system and National Identity Cards scheme, and was a member of the UK’s ISO SC37 working group on biometric standards.

Sillery explained that one of the main challenges facing governments is the actual collection of biometrics, as they need to find a balance between cost, accessibility and security when establishing points of enrollment for visa applicants.

“In the short term,” said Sillery, “governments need to maximise their global footprint of application centers without increasing costs or decreasing security.”

Another challenge that will arise in the next five years is figuring out what to do about travelers who do not currently need a visa to travel.

“Historically, visa-free status has been awarded to visitors from ‘low threat’ countries, but with the rising threat of extremist travelers from such countries it is precisely these groups that governments are most eager to screen,” said Sillery.

Sillery also highlights the challenge of maintaining privacy and security of individual’s biometric data. “As more countries with less robust data security regimes enforce biometric checks, and as the use of biometrics becomes more prevalent and therefore desirable for criminals, the threat of biometric identity theft will without doubt increase,“ he said.

He also states that short term, biometric enrollment facilities will move towards “shared, purpose neutral, drop-in centers”, but later down the line, biometric checks will move away from “facilities toward self-administered online enrollments and checks.”

Finally, Sillery discusses how government use of biometrics might broaden, predicting that “there will be opportunities for governments to adopt them, as they did with the Internet.”

Meanwhile, banks, credit card companies and smartphone manufacturers will help drive the increasing use of biometric ATMs and identity validation for online credit card transactions using smartphones.

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