Biometrics Institute proposes biometric trust mark
24 October 2014 18:23 GMT

New trust mark seeks to reassure customers about privacy issues surrounding biometrics

The Biometrics Institute has unveiled its proposals for a ‘trust mark’ system to boost consumer and public confidence in systems using biometric technology.

The Institute made its announcement at this week’s Biometrics 2014 conference in London. Ted Dunstone, Chair, Technical Committee, Biometrics Institute, told Planet Biometrics: “The Biometrics Institute trust mark aims to build trust for consumers and the public around the use of biometric services and devices. It will do this by the establishment of a privacy and trust framework to give confidence that your biometrics are secure and that all reasonable privacy considerations have been adopted.' 

According to the Institute early support for the scheme has been received by a major US as well as several Australian government agencies – including Australia’s largest welfare provider. A number of banks and online service providers are also claimed to be supportive of the initiative, which is still in its formative stages.

The Institute is grappling with the challenge between creating a simple model which would encourage member to sign up, and a model that ensures rigour and credibility in the trust mark.

The Institute said its Privacy Code initiative was too complicated to use as it was linked to Australian privacy legislation. However, in order to gain the trust mark organisations would have to conduct a privacy impact assessment and take the Institute’s privacy guidelines into account.

The organisation would then have to publish a privacy policy that is easy to understand and provide for a process for redress should a consumer have a complaint.

A trust mark would only be valid for a year, and to gain the trust mark the organisation would have to be a member of the Biometrics Institute.

The Institute said there could be a technical assessment after the biometric system has been implemented to check whether safeguards have been adhered to.