It has been another exciting year for the biometrics and identity industry around the globe, but I will focus on the governmental space in my comment.

India's Aadhaar programme to establish unique ID numbers for citizen using demographic and biometric information is a programme that continues to influence our industry. A price drop in biometrics sensors as well as the increasing performance requirements on biometric back-end systems are also quite obvious aspects.

In the US, the announcement by the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) division in September that the Next Generation Identification (NGI) system has achieved full operational capability completed the expansion of the FBI’s biometric identification capabilities – fingerprints are now just one of many biometric modalities.

In Europe, the ongoing deployment of Automated Border Control solutions is exposing more and more travellers to biometrics and the overall user feedback is very positive. In addition, the EU Commission and eu-LISA [EU Agency for Large-Scale IT Systems] have laid the groundwork for the ambitious Smart Borders programme by publishing the Technical Study on Smart Borders and by engaging member states and industry in designing (national) Smart Borders pilots.

The large scale of these programmes and the increasing usage of biometrics in the commercial space are placing questions over how biometrics will affect our privacy once again on the agenda. This will certainly spur further discussions in the years to come.

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