Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Biometrics 2015

pic of Biometrics 2014 entrance flag
The Biometrics 2015 Conference and free exhibition will take place from 13-15 October in London. The conference's subtitle is Secure Identity Solutions Now! This clearly conveys the topical and urgent nature of secure identity management today.

The 3-day conference will discuss issues and applications relating to:

·      ID management in the digital world
·      Law enforcement, forensics and military applications
·      Borders and travel
·      Developing economies
·      Mobility and payments

The event is organised by the scientific, medical and technical publishers Elsevier in partnership with the Biometrics Institute.

Biometrics 2014
I attended Biometrics 2014 at the QEII Centre in Westminster. Biometrics is an ideal domain for Anglicity's translation and copywriting services. It intersects my financial background, specialisation in technological innovation and keen interest in human rights' issues.

Pic of QEII Centre with flags for Biometrics 2014 outside

Secure border controls and identity authentication in the banking world are of even greater concern in 2015 than in 2014. Following Biometrics 2014, I was invited to attend Biometrics in Banking at Citibank on 24 October 2014. The European Association for Biometrics organised that event with Financial Fraud Action UK. 

Pic of entrance area to Citibank in Canary Wharf, London

Developments in biometrics were initially driven by the US military and Homeland Security. Technologies developed for national security purposes cannot simply be transferred to the banking world. Banks have to strike the right balance between security, respect for privacy and serving their customers.

Mobile and Contactless Payments
In the past year, I have become a big fan of the ease of online payments using my laptop, mobile or iPad. I am very used to Oyster card or contactless payments on the London Underground and buses.

Pic of woman using contactless payment in shop with shopkeeper

I have just read the latest revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden on how GCHQ can track and access your mobile remotely.  At a UKTI event at London's City Hall, I was introduced to the company that produces TFL's real-time maps of commuter movements. They assured me that all data is anonymised. It is hard not to wonder what fraudsters might do in future - or can possibly do already.

I have had two fairly recent experiences of fraud on my personal bank account. On the first occasion, I was impressed by how quickly my bank called my mobile to advise me of the attempted fraud. I had only just reached the store's exit following a purchase. A lost debit or credit card is easily replaced and any losses are covered. 

The second fraudulent transaction took place online. I spotted the problem and advised my bank. Amounts were debited from my account in the Netherlands. A series of debits hit my account. Although my losses were covered, the incident was more alarming and took more time to rectify.

Password Alternatives
I would welcome alternatives to reduce the number of passwords that I need to remember. Banks have to find an alternative or combination of alternatives that the public will accept. Just today, I overheard a conversation in which a customer did not wish to give her credit card details over the phone while travelling.

Different age groups have different expectations. All customers want convenience without any security worries.

The loss of biometric data would be even alarming than either of my two experiences above.

Pic of eye with biometric measurements

Range of Technologies
At Biometrics 2014, I was amazed at the range of technologies in use or in development. Last year I saw or heard about the following biometrics:

·      Fingerprint
·      Palm
·      Hand
·      Vein pattern
·      Face recognition
·      Voice recognition
·      Iris
·      Behavioural
·      Real-time signature recognition
·      Gesture recognition
·      2-factor
·      Multimodal

I am looking forward to an update from the experts at Biometrics 2015.

To discuss your communication requirements, email karen@anglicity.com

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