Alan Goode – My thoughts on the inaugural Goode Intelligence Biometric Summit

Last week, innovative companies in biometrics were brought together at the Goode Intelligence Biometric Summit, in London. In this guest post the event host, Alan Goode, shares some of his thoughts on the topics that were discussed at the event. Alan Goode is the Founder and Managing Director of Goode Intelligence. He is a respected expert in information and mobile security and has written a number of publications on the subjects. 

I have wanted to organize an event that showcased the best of biometric technology for a number of years and recently, Thursday June 21 to be precise, my dreams became a reality with the inaugural Goode Intelligence Biometric Summit. In the shadow of Sir Christopher Wren’s St Paul’s Cathedral in the heart of the City of London I was lucky enough to compere a half-day summit that brought investors and business leaders together. They came to hear about the latest innovation in biometric technology from some of the brightest minds in the industry representing some of the fastest growing companies in technology.

The Summit kicked off with an entertaining presentation from the executive editor at Wired Magazine UK, Jeremy White, who used his skills in identifying emerging trends and technological shifts that will affect both consumers and businesses. Jeremy presented on a range of technology advances and explained how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Biometrics are being harnessed by businesses to gain a competitive advantage. This included leveraging face and fingerprint biometrics for multiple use cases in automobiles, including physical access, personalization, engine starting and payments.

These themes were further explored in the Showcasing UK Biometrics panel bringing together three leading UK-based biometric vendors. The UK is starting to incubate potential leaders in the biometric and identity industry and the Summit’s UK panel included B-Secur with their cutting-edge heartbeat (ECG) technology, AI-powered facial recognition from iProov and identity and authentication platform providers, SmilePass.

Biometrics can operate in both passive (without direct interaction from a user) and active (where the user directly presents their biometric – fingerprint, face or heartbeat) modes. Behavioral biometrics is a passive biometric technology that learns how users interact with technology and creates unique profiles. One of the leading behavioral biometric specialists is Sweden’s BehavioSec, Mark Gent, Director, Worldwide Sales Engineering at BehavioSec, presented on The Human as an Asset where he detailed how they can detect both normal or abnormal behavior for use in fraud detection and authentication.

Consumer authentication needs fixing; passwords still dominate and these are cumbersome and insecure. A company that has been at the forefront of the passwordless movement is Nok Nok Labs from California. In a presentation entitled Accelerate Digital Transformation with Biometrics in an era of PSD2 and GDPR, Nok Nok’s Michelle Salway, Senior Director of Sales, EMEA then provided her insight into how they are able to transform business with its FIDO biometric authentication solutions.  With FIDO enabled systems starting to appear in browsers and on smartphones, passwordless user authentication may just be coming a step closer.

The consumer biometric revolution was started by Apple with the arrival of Touch ID fingerprint authentication on the iPhone 5S in 2013. Since that leap, billions of smartphones get shipped every year with touch fingerprint sensors as standard. Torgny Hellström, Chairman, Precise Biometrics shared his views on market trends in fingerprint biometrics, including the latest on the potentially explosive growth of biometric payment cards, which is an opportunity for payment providers and banks to reduce fraud while improving the user experience of tap and go payments. During the networking break, Torgny was inundated with requests to view a sample of a biometric payment card with many of the delegates amazed at how a slim plastic card could support such sophisticated biometric technology.

Biometric data is one of our most personal pieces of data and in the final session of the day we had a panel representing the views of a data protection officer (Emma Butler from Yoti), a lawyer (David Cook from Eversheds Sutherland) and a technology provider (Andrew Bud from iProov). GDPR has been all over the news recently with the EU data protection becoming law on 25 May across the European Union. I must admit to have taken a risk in putting a GDPR related panel on as the last session of the day, especially with most people feeling GDPR-fatigue, but it was a calculated risk and proved to be one of the most interesting and liveliest sessions of the day.

A big thank you to all of the sponsors – including the platinum sponsor and host Stifel – speakers, panellists and delegates who made this Summit a memorable one. Biometric technology is certainly evolving and we are only starting to see the benefits of a technology that knows who we are and how we are. I expect to see more applications that both identify and monitor people on a continuous basis; moving beyond authentication.

I look forward to welcoming people to future Goode Intelligence events shortly including Biometric Summit 2019 – planning is already underway!

Thank you – Alan

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