September is Government Applications Month at FindBiometrics, during which we are placing a featured focus on the identity management and strong authentication technologies that keep modern society secure, convenient, and safe. From military ID and physical access control, to border security, law enforcement and next-gen voting, biometric technology has become a key component of the contemporary nation. To start Government Applications Month right, we have compiled a primer of government biometrics terms and trends to bring you up to speed on the current market landscape.
The Government Market
According to recent research from Tractica, biometric technology is being adopted for use in government applications at an increasing pace, and this is contributing to the continued growth of the Global Biometrics Market, which the firm has pegged to hit $15.1 billion by 2025. The government applications of biometrics are diverse, but a large part of the sector in question is the Military Biometrics Market. A new report from Transparency Market Research show the Military Biometrics Market on the grow, particularly in the Asia Pacific region as biometrics are deployed to defend against terrorism. Read more about these recent market reports dealing with government applications of biometrics:
Governments are turning to biometrics as a form of civil identification, otherwise known as National ID. Using biometrics as a form of citizen registry, linking relevant biographical and contextual information to a person’s fingerprints or irises has a great deal of benefits. A robust biometric national ID program can curb fraud, enable access to essential services, and make civic obligations more convenient. Of course, biometric ID programs are some of the most ambitious identity management initiatives in the world, and as such they occasionally run into logistical issues. The following articles will shed light on the ambition, the benefits, and the obstacles in biometric national ID.
If you want to see a biometric government in action, look to India. The Aadhaar national ID program runs on fingerprint, iris, and face biometrics. Over one billion people are enrolled in Aadhaar, and while it has given rise to privacy concerns, it has already produced tangible social improvements. Aadhaar enables biometric payments in India, it helps allocate government subsidies, and it cuts down on government graft thanks to attendance tracking integrations. The following links will give you an overview of the most ambitious government application of biometrics on the planet.
On a smaller scale than national ID, biometric voter registry can be used to ensure easy, secure, and accountable electronic voting. Fingerprint and face recognition have each been deployed for purposes of fair elections around the world, and the trend is catching on. Read more about biometric democracy with the following articles:
A nation is defined by its borders, and in today’s climate of convenient world travel and global conflict, biometrics are helping maintain said dividing lines. Biometrics are deployed to secure ports of exit and entry while also providing extra convenience to pre-screened individuals. The following articles will provide background on how biometrics are being talked about, tested and deployed at national borders across the globe.
In 2017, a discussion of state cannot be had without the acknowledgement of statelessness—refugees continue to flee from their once-homes, forgoing the privilege of a nation. The UNHCR, in its efforts to address the ongoing refugee crisis, has turned to biometrics as a form of ID for the displaced. Iris biometrics are being deployed in refugee camps the world over so that those interned within can live with the dignity of an identity.
Law enforcement is arguably the market with the oldest biometric applications, thanks to the century-old practice of fingerprinting. Today, government agencies work with biometrics vendors to leverage facial recognition, fingerprint biometrics, and other modalities in order to aid in the apprehension of suspected criminals. Read more about recent law enforcement biometrics news by clicking the following links:
Government Research and Testing
Governments are also responsible for stoking the fires of biometric advancement. Through testing standards, technology competitions, and research initiatives, federal organizations like NIST are facilitating advances in forensics, liveness detection, and matching accuracy. Check out the following articles to see how government research and testing fits into the larger biometrics conversation.
Ethics, Communications, and Privacy
Due to the personal nature of identity, when governments turn to new technologies like biometrics controversy isn’t far behind. Conversations about ethics and privacy are happening in 2017 that could prove foundational to how biometrics are used in government applications in the future. Here are just a few:
Stay posted to FindBiometrics throughout September as we continue to bring you featured content on the topic of Government Applications in Biometrics. Be sure to sign up for the webinar Biometric Governments in Practice.