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Mark Lockie previews identity technology conference connect:ID 2016


For the past couple years, Science Media Partners and the International Biometrics + Identity Association have partnered to bring connect:ID, an international conference and exhibition focusing on all aspects of the personal identity sector.

connect:ID 2016 is set to take place at the Walter E Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC from March 14 through 16, only this time around, the global conference and exhibition will feature three simultaneous international conferences.

The three-day conferences — biometric ID:HUB, mobile ID:HUB and secure ID:HUB — will explore the development and integration of multiple advanced identity technologies, including biometrics, secure credentials and mobile identity systems. Additionally, the free-to-visit exhibition will be open March 15 and 16.

BiometricUpdate.com recently had the opportunity to interview Mark Lockie, event director for connect:ID 2016, where he discussed the conference’s new format, what attendees can expect from the conferences and exhibition, and key topics that will be covered over the three days.

What is the reason behind breaking up the conference into three separate hubs?

Mark Lockie: As co-organizers since connect:ID’s inception, Science Media Partners and the International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA) have been proud to see this event experience rapid growth in both the conference and the free-to-visit exhibition (75 exhibitors this year). Alongside this expansion, demand has risen for more specific and focused information on how biometrics, mobile identity and secure ID credentials can deliver next-generation identity solutions. By offering three ID:HUBs we felt we could provide this focus, while meeting the needs of a wide range of sectors seeking identity-related solutions.

What can we expect from the biometric ID, mobile ID, and secure ID hubs?

Among other critical aspects, the biometric ID:HUB conference will examine how biometric technologies are becoming increasingly vital as governments and firms seek to authenticate customers, identify citizens, protect valuable assets, or enhance national security. Meanwhile, the mobile ID:HUB conference will investigate how the increased mobility of our digital identities will change how services are provided by both government and the private sector. Finally, the secure ID:HUB will explore all the latest trends as government-issued credentials increasingly shape national identity infrastructure. As well as examining, in detail, the state of the art in terms of identity fraud, document counterfeiting, and credential design, this hub will also examine the future trajectory of eIDs, mobile driving licenses and ePassports.

Who are some of the key speakers for the conference?

In terms of keynotes, we are proud that two influential Congressmen will be addressing the audience on critical issues such as border security, biometric Entry-Exit and security in the aviation sector. Congressman Will Hurd, (TX-23) Vice Chair of the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee, House Homeland Security Committee, will deliver our opening address. Hurd is responsible for oversight of all relevant aspects of visa, border, port and maritime security including, TWIC, the Visa Waiver Program, and Biometric Entry-Exit. On the same day, Congressman John M. Katko, Chair of the Transportation Security Subcommittee, House Homeland Security Committee, will also give his remarks. Katko has sole jurisdiction over all Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security matters, including the security of passengers and cargo within the US aviation system.

There is a plethora of influential speakers from government programs and the aviation sector. But, excitingly, this year’s conference sees numerous non-government speakers sharing their views, taking in the education and financial sectors to name but a few – a presentation by Visa on the power of biometrics will be a particular highlight. Meanwhile, key panels on mobile devices, wearables, the Internet of Things – as well a mobile authentication session led by the FIDO Alliance – will be part of the program.

What are some of the trends the conference will address?

Some of the most important trends impacting on world stability, such as national security, terrorism and population movements are also intrinsically linked with the future of the identity market, so we are very happy that our list of high-profile speakers will be addressing these topics in detail. At the same time, mobility and biometric authentication are playing a much more prominent role in the world, so it is excellent that we also have a wide range of panels and speakers exploring their growth and increasing impact on aspects such as user privacy. Indeed the theme of privacy runs through the heart of the conference this year – appearing in many sessions as an integral discussion point.

What are some of the main challenges hindering biometric adoption?

It is easy to say challenges surrounding standards or accuracy, but from my perspective as a journalist in this sector, there is still a significant lack of perceived need by the business community, especially when balanced against the supposed costs and risk of adopting “new” technology. However, as the public – and business – increasingly sees how biometric authentication can revolutionise their working and social lives, solutions will increasingly permeate and take hold. Naturally, major deployments such as Touch ID and Windows Hello play a vital role in this respect, but so too do deployments by governments in areas such as borders, where enhanced convenience and security can go hand in hand, offering a compelling model for wider adoption.

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