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AI development affecting the perception of biometrics: industry survey

Categories Biometrics News  |  Trade Notes
AI development affecting the perception of biometrics: industry survey

Artificial intelligence has been ruling headlines over the past year and its public image may be affecting the biometric industry, according to a new survey from industry group Biometrics Institute.

The survey, which presents the voices of 255 industry professionals across the world, has shown that 87 percent of respondents believe that the perception of emerging AI technologies will influence their view of future biometric applications.

Although the hype around AI has been affecting how others see the industry, it is not the most significant development that the field has seen over the past year, according to opinions from biometrics experts.

Almost one-fifth (19 percent) of survey respondents say that AI is one of the areas with the largest increase in development over the past year. This represents a double increase from its position last year: In 2022, it was just 8 percent. However, this is still less than digital identity which was voted as the area with the most significant development in the use of biometrics by 30 percent of respondents.

Aside from digital ID and AI, other fields that have been seeing development are border control and security, digital wallets, and national identity, which all received less than 10 percent.

The Biometrics Institute, which promotes responsible and ethical use of biometrics, conducts the research each year, showing the biometrics industry’s attitudes and future predictions. The community lists over 200 membership organizations from 34 countries.

Other findings from the survey showed that the majority of industry professionals (45 percent) believe that face biometrics are most likely to see an increase in use in the next few years. Other options include multimodal (16 percent), voice (9 percent), iris (7 percent) and behavioral (6 percent). Contactless finger and vein biometrics received an honorable mention.

Acceptance of biometrics, however, will require significant education of citizens, 87 percent of respondents say.

Survey respondents were also asked about the greatest obstacles to the biometrics market. The main factor remains privacy and data protection concerns (54 percent), followed by a lack of public trust (47 percent). Legislation and governance, misinformation about biometrics and data sharing concerns were among other issues.

Almost three-fifths (57 percent) said they believe policy and regulation will not keep pace with the development of biometric technology over the next decade, including those around privacy and data protection issues. A bit more than half (52 percent) agreed that the principle of a unique human identity will be disrupted in virtual and augmented realities. A nearly equal amount (54 percent) said that by 2030, citizens will consider who is the data custodians when sharing biometric data

One issue where respondents were undecided was whether privacy concerns have been overstated in the last couple of years as a result of one or two particular incidents or an organization’s practices.

The full results of the 2023 Biometrics Industry Survey are available here.

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