Biometrics Institute Industry Survey reveals mix of market confidence and anxiety at pivotal moment
The novel coronavirus represents a pivotal moment for biometrics, six out of ten stakeholders and even more technology suppliers say in the latest Biometrics Institute Industry Survey.
A majority of respondents see increasing use of contactless biometric modalities, and increasing demand for remote processes. Links between biometrics and health data and improvements in facial recognition to adjust for ubiquitous mask-wearing were also noted.
Overall market optimism remains high, though down slightly from a year ago.
There is general agreement among Biometrics Institute members and industry professionals completing the survey that human rights should be front of mind in any pandemic responses, though some see a need for compromises related to privacy. Privacy and data protection concerns are still seen as the top barrier to the market, with 63 percent citing the same concern that has risen steadily to the top of the list over the past five years. The number is slightly down from a year ago, however. Misinformation, data sharing issues and poor knowledge among decision makers are also seen as market restraints.
When asked about perception among members of the public, industry representatives say the rise of mass surveillance from linked databases and misidentification are the top concerns identified. Properly educating the public about the benefits of biometrics is considered crucial for the industry by a conclusive 89 percent of respondents. Asked about law enforcement use of biometrics, 68 percent say use should always be proportionate and time-limited, while 14 percent disagree.
“The introduction of COVID-19-related questions this year shows us what we have also found from our recent online meetings – that the virus is something of a gamechanger for the industry,” explains Biometrics Institute Chief Executive Isabelle Moeller. “These meetings have truly connected our global community and shown us how agile and willing it is to find new solutions to the challenges we now face. This month we’ll be launching our Good Practice Framework, a brand-new good practice tool to guide our members through the process of implementing or reviewing biometric technology responsibly and ethically. This timely release will be especially useful as the industry navigates new waters together.”
Asked what biometric method is most likely to increase in use over the next few years, 51 percent answered facial recognition, 17 percent said multimodal, while 9 percent said contactless finger or vein.
Areas that biometrics should not be implemented in are social media, according to a third of respondents, followed by school administration, birth registration, and consumer products.
The eleventh edition of the survey supplies insights into trends and developments in the biometrics industry over the past year and into the future, and the timing this year means the Institute was able to include questions about the impact of the pandemic.
For the first time, this year’s eight-page Industry Survey summary can be purchased by non-members of the Biometrics Institute for £100.