Biometrics Institute ‘Good Practice Framework’ launched to demystify responsible implementation
The Biometrics Institute has launched a first-of-its kind ‘Good Practice Framework,’ available to paid members, to give companies a structured pathway through the various factors that influence or hinder biometric applications. The Framework is meant as a universal and agnostic reference document and benchmark that can be applied to any biometric implementation.
In a launch workshop, six biometrics experts used parts of the framework to consider the requirements of a fictional developing nation attempting to introduce biometrics to modernize its border management capabilities.
During the online event, participants were polled and 96 percent reported that the framework would be “very” or “quite” useful for their organization.
Biometrics Institute Chief Executive Isabelle Moeller says that the organization’s 2020 Industry Survey showed the community is most concerned about the biometrics market being restrained by privacy and data protection concerns.
“These concerns are part of the global backdrop to biometrics which include discussions around banning, pausing or introducing stricter legislation to govern the use of the technology,” Moeller says. “And now COVID-19 has caused a further shift in how we capture and use biometrics. However, the good practices needed to cross this complex terrain have not changed and are detailed in the Good Practice Framework. This brand new tool is the most important resource we have ever released. After fantastic feedback on the launch workshop, we’re planning further training and workshops to help our members really understand how to use the framework and put it into practice on their new and existing projects.”
“The Biometrics Institute Good Practice Framework is designed for anyone planning to introduce a biometric system or develop an existing application,” states Biometrics Institute Advisory Council Member Roger Baldwin, who helped develop the framework. “It provides a high level, systematic pathway to help formulate sound policies and processes while considering their potential societal impacts. I’m looking forward to seeing organisations use it to develop effective governance structures, consider legal requirements, manage system outputs, international standards and independent testing.”
The Framework covers strategic planning, data acquisition and processing, system outputs, and products and services. The organization says it can help stakeholders with limited knowledge of biometrics procure, upgrade or expand a system, and can help with a comparative analysis of two or more biometric applications.
Stakeholders from UN agencies, law enforcement and border experts, industry experts, biometrics leaders in government and civil liberties and human rights organizations responded to a presentation of the first draft at events late last year with detailed comments, which the Biometrics Institute says were important to the shape of the revised version.
Biometrics Institute Advisory Council member and former US-VISIT director Bob Mocny said he wished he had the framework 20 years ago, while standing up a large-scale biometrics program for border security that he says was probably the first of its kind.
Panelist Paul Cross, a Biometrics Institute director, notes that some people are strong on either the technology or privacy side, but few are knowledgeable on both, and that says the Good Practice Framework demystifies the space.
“The framework is excellent,” lauds UNHCR Biometrics Head Sam Jefferies. “It will help states and organisations to review their existing biometrics programmes and ensure that biometric services are still are fit for purpose and appropriate in this changing world.”
The Biometrics Institute will announce further training and workshops for members in the coming months.
This post was updated at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on July 30, 2020 to clarify that the guide is available only to paid members of the Biometrics Institute.