Biometric Consortium Conference 2008 - Opening Keynote


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This is the opening keynote presentation at the 2008 Biometric Consortium Conference.

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  • “ THIS is the year of biometrics!” I’ve been attending these conferences for about ten years now, and each year, without fail, somebody mutters those words. In reality, technology rarely explodes in a one-year window. Rather, it usually takes time for a new technology to become stable, and even longer for it to become accepted and used across disparate domains. So, instead of saying that “this is the year of biometrics,” how about we say that “this is the administration of biometrics?” Regardless of your political leanings, the fact is quite clear that government, industry and academia have advanced biometric technology, and its application in important operational missions, more in the last eight years than at any time in the technology’s history – perhaps even its collective history. While the industry’s growth is being led for the most part through major government programs throughout the world, we are also seeing a parallel growth trend in the commercial sector for personal and business security. [1] We also expect this growth to continue: Frost and Sullivan’s World Biometrics Market Report (March 2007) forecasts a compound annual growth rate (2006-2011) of 61% for the biometrics industry. While much of this growth has of course been due to other influences, such as the advancement of computing technologies and worldwide reaction to 9/11, the Bush administration has devoted significant attention to driving these efforts harder and faster than would normally be possible. With a presidential election right around the corner, it’s natural for us all to wonder what will happen once the “biometrics administration” is replaced. My belief is that, no matter which candidate wins, those in this room will be able to refer to it as the “identity management administration”. The simple fact is that many of our most pressing needs for biometrics are no longer biometrics-technology specific, but instead focus on issues concerning the implementation of biometrics. While there remains significant interest and need in advancing biometrics science, it is no longer our foremost focus. Solving the issues associated with “Biometric-based Identity Management” now receives as much, if not more, focus than the core technologies. This conference, and the presentations and discussions you will take part in this week, have been designed to ensure that we are all walking in the same direction during this focus transition. [1] Walter Hamilton (IBIA), email message on 9/10/2008
  • Biometric Consortium Conference 2008 - Opening Keynote

    1. 1. Government Biometrics Policy Advancing Science, Enhancing Operations Duane Blackburn Office of Science and Technology Policy Executive Office of the President September 23, 2008
    2. 2. Available in your conference packet and online at
    3. 3. National Science and Technology Council <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    4. 5. Operational Success: DOD and FBI Partnership Joint efforts between the DOD and the FBI to compare biometric datasets showed a previously undiscovered trend: numerous individuals that the DOD captures in war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan have prior criminal histories in the United States. This discovery led to even greater collaboration between the two agencies in the war theaters.
    5. 6. USG Biometrics Coordination - Organizational Biometrics S&T Subcommittee on Biometrics and Identity Management (2002 – Present) Committee on Technology National Science and Technology Council OMB/OSTP Budget Guidance Memorandum KST Operations ICG on Identity Management for Biometrics (2006 – Present) Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning (NCTC) National Security Council Homeland Security Council NSPD-59 / HSPD-24 on “Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security” (11/2007 – Present) Borders & Transportation PCC KST/NST Operations
    6. 8. “ Promoting a scientifically educated and aware public is necessary if we are to make the appropriate decisions about the nation’s R&D investments, guide the adoption and debate the societal implications of new science and technologies, and reap the maximum benefits from our investments. The quality of these efforts underpins the entire US scientific enterprise.” Science for the 21 st Century Executive Office of the President of the United States
    7. 9. Government Biometrics Policy Advancing Science, Enhancing Operations Duane Blackburn Office of Science and Technology Policy Executive Office of the President September 23, 2008