Biometrics Year in Review: Cooperation Makes it Happen

Another year is coming to a close and here at FindBiometrics that means one thing: the annual Biometrics Year in Review is upon us. 2015 has been a year of major adoption in biometrics, as well as major innovation. In large part, these industry strides have come about via cooperation, either through partnerships or on the organizational level. Today, we’re looking at the latter of the two.

Cooperation in such a dynamic tech space can have its obstacles. Despite marked industry growth, the year before also saw clashes between authentication paradigms and modalities, with some companies’ approaches to digital identity finding conflict with the ideals behind large industry organizations. 2015, however, has proven to be a big year in paradigm shifting, with alliances and groups finding deployment and membership on large scales.

We asked our year in review respondents how strongly they agree with the following statement:

Industry cooperation through consortia and alliances is helpful in addressing industry challenges

Here’s what they said:

Biometrics Year in Review: Cooperation Makes it Happen


In the results we see that the overwhelming majority of our respondents either agree or strongly agree that industry cooperation through consortia and alliances is helpful in addressing challenges. Just less than six percent disagree with the statement at all. While dissenting opinions can be entertained through argument against basic founding principals of some industry groups—the easiest one to imagine is from a pro match-on-server stance against the match-on-device credo of the FIDO Alliance—there is evidence that in 2015 identity organizations did quite a bit of good.

Biometrics Year in Review: Cooperation Makes it Happen

Sticking with FIDO, we have seen some very notable industry progress. In addition to having over 70 FIDO Certified products on the market, the Alliance bolstered its ranks by creating a government membership level and its cooperation and liaison program. Huge deployments, including the Windows 10 operating system’s multi-modal Windows Hello security system, actually gave PC users post-password options for everyday life.

Perhaps the biggest coup for FIDO this year was the relatively recent news that it partnered with W3C in a move that will see strong online authentication options proliferate the world wide web on an unprecedented level. Thanks to this milestone in particular, Constellation Research issued an update to its analysis of FIDO, calling the Alliance “the most important Identity Management (IdM) consortium in an industry that has seen many associations over many years.”

Biometrics Year in Review: Cooperation Makes it HappenBut it wasn’t just FIDO tackling the obstacles. The IBIA has become more vocal over the past year in response to an industry demand for better communication and education when it comes to public perception. The association responded to industry controversy, added its voice to new government measures regarding border control, and encouraged biometrics adoption in areas that have proven reluctant in implementing next gen security and authentication, like schools.

The Natural Security Alliance scored major new members in 2015, including Morpho (Safran), which has recently revved up its efforts in mobile authentication. We also saw Morpho taking a leadership role in a cooperative capacity, with the company spearheading a new coalition in Norway aimed at improving mobile security in the nation.

Biometrics Year in Review: Cooperation Makes it HappenFurthermore, 2015 also saw the call for more standards organizations, proving that cooperation is being seen as a tool for gaining traction. EyeVerify CEO Toby Rush suggested that there be a new standard for mobile payment biometric security. Based on three core specifications for accuracy, liveness detection and privacy, Rush’s proposal was called “forward thinking” by FindBiometrics’ own Alex Perala.

In 2015, the industry alliances, organizations and consortia were all pulling their weight, with some major milestones having been crossed thanks to the cooperation they foster. With some of the strong traction gained this past year, 2016 looks primed for great things when it comes to the industry working together to address challenges in biometrics.


Stick with FindBiometrics throughout December as we bring you more results from our 13th annual Year in Review. Be a part of the conversation by following us on Twitter and tweeting with the hashtag #FB2015.

December 21, 2015 – by Peter B. Counter