Biometric Institute marks 15th anniversary
11 October 2016 15:29 GMT

The Biometrics Institute has marked its 15-year anniversary by restating its commitment to promoting the responsible use of biometrics as an independent, international user group.

In a statement, the Biometrics Institute noted that it was first registered as a not-for-profit organisation in Australia on the 11 October 2001 and opened an office in London, UK in July 2011.

It is set up as a user group giving organisations using biometrics more power in setting the direction of the organisation, however suppliers and academia form another important component of the membership.

Isabelle Moeller, the Biometrics Institute Chief Executive, has taken the opportunity to praise the group’s founding members for their prescience.

“I joined the Biometrics Institute in May 2002 and what an amazing journey it has been … what great foresight its founding members had when they then predicted that biometrics was to be in common use in the future and that the Institute wanted to be ahead of the game, technically as well as in terms of privacy and commercial uses.”

Moeller adds: “Now that biometrics are becoming more ubiquitous and are being used in a wide variety of not only government but also consumer applications, our role of guiding organisations on best-practice for the responsible use of biometrics is even more important.”

The Biometrics Institute now has 213 membership organisations representing close to 900 individuals from 26 countries.  

Dr Ted Dunstone, the founder of the Biometrics Institute and Head of its Biometrics Vulnerability Assessment Expert Group (BVAEG), said: “When I secured the funding from the Australian government for the establishment of the Biometrics Institute, it was originally suggested to set up a testing and evaluation organisation … but the members decided that user education and promotion of responsible use is what the industry needed the most.”

“We certainly made the right decision and it is exciting to see that the Institute still engages on discussions around the importance of testing, such a vulnerability assessments and liveness detection through the BVAEG.”

The Bi noted in a statement that one major milestone was the work the Institute conducted to develop its own biometric vulnerability assessment methodology with funding from the Australian Government in 2006 to generate a new Science &Technology capability. It then used its expertise to engage with other testing organisations and vulnerability researchers around the world.

In 2010 it set up the BVAEG, an expert group that focuses on raising awareness about the importance of vulnerability assessments and that mitigation is available, share knowledge, research and experience about vulnerabilities on an ongoing basis and support development of a common standard under the ISO SC37.

The BVAEG developed the Top 10 Vulnerability FAQ paper in 2015, a guiding document that addresses questions such as whether a biometric can be stolen, what mitigation may be considered and what to do should this ever happen.

Biometrics continue to play an important role in the security and now also in consumer applications. Privacy protection need to be provided to gain community acceptance.

In February 2003 the Biometrics Institute Privacy Code was commissioned and partly paid for by the Australian government.

The Hon Terry Aulich, Head of the Biometrics Institute Privacy Committee explains: “A very important milestone was the work on a Privacy Code to help provide best-practice privacy principles for the use of biometrics addressing issues such as consent, notice and purpose.”

“The Biometrics Institute Privacy Guidelines have now been established based on the original work we conducted on the Code but we added expert knowledge of our now very varied and global membership which makes these Guidelines a very important best-practice guide for the industry,” he outlines.


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