Welcome to Biometrics 2012
Industry Statement from David Buckley, CEO Cross Match Technologies
This year, the biometrics industry finds itself at a global crossroads, making this year’s theme “building connections” especially fitting.
The benefits and emerging applications of biometrics are now known the world over. From feature films, to safeguarding the Olympic village here in London this past summer, to the news reporting about the takedown of the world’s most famous terrorist – images of biometric systems that protect us, abound.
This exposure affords us both great opportunities while presenting us with a significant challenge: can we take what the public already knows about how we have made the world safer and effectively educate them on how biometrics can improve the quality of our lives?
To be successful, this effort must include all of us and go beyond the individual interactions we have with customers and decision makers. In short, the narrative of biometrics must become more global.
The global narrative of the biometrics community – and how we are solving tough problems and improving the quality of our lives, must be inclusive of all views. At the same time it must be based upon the facts and realities of biometrics in practice, not stigmas or myths.
Fortunately, there are storylines unfolding all over the world that demonstrate how biometric solutions are enabling governments, businesses and communities to overcome a number of very big challenges.
These challenges include preventing widespread damage that could be done from breaches of increasingly interconnected financial systems, as well as high level identity, data, and credit theft.
They also include addressing threats to the stability of emerging democracies around the world. We all remember the impactful images of citizens in Iraq voting for the first time proudly displaying ink-stained fingers. What many in the general public may not know is that this mark, while a source of pride for many, also unnecessarily put a target on the back of many voters in the immediate aftermath of the election. The good news is that biometrics is rapidly playing a key role in empowering democracies by ensuring safe, fair and accurate elections.
For far too long international assistance has not been fully distributed to those most in need. As the leading nations of the world expend resources and influence to support fragile democracies and help those in need, so too should they make the effort to jointly educate emerging nations on the benefits of biometric solutions. These efforts are unfolding in emerging countries across the globe and on an unprecedented scale in India. We should work together to engage the UN and the international community to make a biometric global aid distribution program a priority in 2013.
We all remember the tragic events last year stemming from the Japan earthquake and Tsunami. What some may not know is that Japan’s banking sector was an early adopter of biometric ATMs— an effort which they have continued so that in the event of another disaster, customers will not need their ATM or identification cards to access their accounts. This story, and stories like it, must form a narrative that we use to educate banking sectors in the West.
The benefits of biometric technologies for domestic and commercial purposes can transcend borders and strengthen relationships and bolster trade. Far too often needed goods and services are held up in way stations and holding patterns because nations lack the manpower and the technology to rapidly, and comprehensively, separate threats from elements of legitimate commerce. Biometrics are now appropriately playing an important part of cross border trade along the U.S. / Canada border and along many borders in the other regions of the world but progress is slow. Our industry should partner with the largest stakeholders in commercial shipping and international trade to advocate for wider deployment of biometric solutions to optimize the flow of global commerce.
Biometrics can and must play a significant role in the solution to our own financial challenges in the U.S. and the European Community. Going forward, biometrics can help save billions in public funds over time by preventing waste, fraud, and abuse within a variety of public sector systems including most especially healthcare. While discussions about information security and privacy are both important and necessary, the large scale financial benefits these systems can provide to individuals and governments must be front and center. Ignoring the need for broader adoption of biometrics within the healthcare arena is something that U.S. and the E.U. can no longer afford to do.
The Biometrics 2012 Conference is an incredibly valuable opportunity for our company, and for companies of all sizes within our community. This week, the new connections we will make, and existing ones we will strengthen, will enable all of us do better and do more as we gear up for 2013 and beyond.
However, it is realizing and making the most of our shared global connections, and responsibilities, that that present us with the greatest opportunity as we begin this Conference.
I am confident that Biometrics 2012 will make us smarter, better and more prepared. Most of all, I am hopeful and confident that this year’s Conference will enable us to tell the broader story about the benefits that biometrics can provide to all.
I look forward to working with each of you to make this critically important narrative a reality.
David Buckley is the CEO of Cross Match Technologies, Inc., a leading innovator and provider of biometric identity management solutions to governments, law enforcement agencies, and businesses around the world. For more information, visit www.crossmatch.com