This report is the result of SDI's extensive market and company research covering the global biometric systems industry. It provides detailed analysis of both historic and forecast global industry values, factors influencing demand, the challenges faced by industry participants, analysis of the leading companies in the industry, and key news.
Introduction and Landscape
Why was the report written?
“The Global Biometric Systems Market 2014-2024” offers the reader detailed analysis of the global biometric systems market over the next ten years, alongside potential market opportunities to enter the industry, using detailed market size forecasts.
What are the key drivers behind recent market changes?
Global governmental spending on biometric programs and corresponding systems is predominantly driven by the numerous e-passport and national identity card programs underway in various countries and the projects slated to begin in the near future. The US and European nations including the UK, Germany, France and other smaller European nations were the early adopters of biometric technology for various purposes including border control, airport security, identity security, and law enforcement. E-Passports and national identity cards equipped with electronic chips carrying biometric data, form the major basis for all the aforementioned applications. With increasing popularity, countries in Asia Pacific and Latin America are adopting biometric passports and electronic identity cards. Furthermore, the increasing instances of terrorism around the world are also urging governments of vulnerable nations such as the US, UK, Russia, and India to introduce secure biometric passports and electronic documents which prove instrumental in checking the entry of hostile forces into countries through the borders or airports. These national identity and biometric passport issuance programs involve huge investment and require long durations to be completed. For example, India has recently launched its Unique Identity (UID) program in order to provide every citizen with a unique identity card which consists of biometric data including fingerprints, digital signatures and digitized photographs. This program is deemed to be the largest of its kind in the world till date and is anticipated to substantially improve and streamline the process of government services' delivery to the Indian citizens.
What makes this report unique and essential to read?
“The Global Biometric Systems Market 2014-2024” provides detailed analysis of the current industry size and growth expectations from 2014 to 2024, including highlights of key growth stimulators. It also benchmarks the industry against key global markets and provides detailed understanding of emerging opportunities in specific areas.
Key Features and Benefits
The report provides detailed analysis of the market for biometric systems during 2014-2024, including the factors that influence why countries are investing or cutting expenditure on biometric systems. It provides detailed expectations of growth rates and projected total expenditure.
Government initiatives towards identity and border control, increasing concern over data security and growth in urban population leading towards increase the proportion of rebel groups and terrorists are expected to boost the demand for biometric identity and security systems over the coming years. As this sector gains prominence, it is expected that large competitors will try to generate competence by acquiring medium and small sized niche entities, with unique facilities that will fill the gaps in their portfolio of products, or services. In July 2012, Apple Inc acquired fingerprint sensor and recognition solution provider AuthenTec for US$356 million. Moving ahead the company has integrated the fingerprint recognition into its latest mobile devices iPhone 5S. In the same month, Cross Match Technologies, a provider of interoperable biometric identity management systems was acquired by Francisco Partners, a global private equity firm focused on investments in technology and technology-enabled services business. Later in the same year, search engine giant, Google acquired facial recognition technology company Viewdle. The increasing demand for innovative biometric applications is expected to result in a further increase in consolidation activity over the coming months.
Key Market Issues
Policies and technology developments to protect civil rights as well as personal and information privacy have become inevitable prior to applying any advanced biometric technology into practice. In recent years, privacy issues are becoming increasing significant as novel biometric technologies such as facial recognition, iris recognition and DNA identification technologies are introduced. Theft of biometric information might result in unauthorized access to military facilities and thus perpetrate terrorist activities resulting in a major threat to the national security. Biometric information collected by the government agencies may also be transferred to other departments for administrative or other purposes that will increase chances of illegal hacking. . Furthermore, biometric data that is acquired originally for national ID or for passports can also be used by government agencies for surveillance purposes and for checks against forensic databases without the person being aware of its use. DNA identification systems, a new category of biometric system presents privacy issues, different from those involved in other biometrics collection. DNA sample collected through a blood draw or a swab of the inner cheek is more invasive than other external biometrics such as fingerprint or photograph. Also, it contains information about a person's genetic make-up, including gender, health, disease history and other hereditary information that can be used for purposes other than for which it was collected. As such in recent years, public agitation has increased against using the biometric information without their consent by law enforcement agencies and militaries. Given these issues which are yet to be resolved in their entirety, a strict control of access to databases containing personal identification information is considered to be a challenge for the growth of the market.
Historically, the government agencies have been collecting information from only one biometric system at a time. However, in recent years, use of multi-modal biometrics is gaining prominence as collecting more than one piece of biometric data from an individual makes identification more accurate. Therefore, designing completely reliable and automatic biometric systems is a key challenge for companies and governments alike. As there is no standardization of biometric data due to information collection by several law enforcement agencies simultaneously, achieving interoperability by integrating all these databases has become very difficult. Furthermore, high data retention time leads to additional problems as data that is less identifiable in the past becomes more identifiable with the advancement in technology. For example, biometric records stored in the Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT) and Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), by US law enforcement agencies, are expected to be retained for 75 years. This means that the government agencies will be using the same poor quality biometric data and information despite the developments in technology, in a drive to achieve interoperability. Additionally, technical issues in some biometrics, such as facial recognition, make their use inappropriate, as accuracy is mainly dependent on consistent lighting conditions and angles of view. Large age discrepancies will also aggravate the problem as comparing a person with his photo taken several years ago will lead to false acceptance or rejection. Therefore, a number of technological advancements are required in order to achieve these goals, which poses a significant challenge for market participants who have to maintain the accuracy of biometric systems, while at the same time reduce the cost involved in it.
The government agencies worldwide have started to recognize biometrics as one of the safest verification and identity authentication tools. The use of biometrics such as iris, fingerprint, finger vein, voice recognition and voiceprint have become a new generation of authentication. However, it has also created a new generation of fraud. One of most serious threat to the technology is from impersonation. Impersonation sees the imposter attempt to be incorrectly recognized as a different, legitimate user. The imposter with a fake identity but legitimate biometric information stored in his biometric card can successfully access vital government sites and can even cause damage on someone else's identity. The biometric card does not ensure that the person applying for an ID card is using her own name, rather than a stolen or false identity. The plan does require card applicants to present identity documents such as drivers' licenses and national identification cards. However, the imitated identify documents are easy to get in several countries including the United States. It is likely therefore that the well-developed identity document forgery industry will provide support to the imposters and will help them gets their biometric cards issued on a fake identity; resulting in a situation which can be even more fatal.. The imposters are more difficult to identify than the individuals with fake documents as they have legitimate biometric cards. They can only be caught if there are several layers of verification which is very difficult to implement in sites such as airports with high foot fall on a daily basis.
Biometric systems primarily work on security features by protecting the information stored on the card. However, most of the biometric cards encryption scheme with technologies including fingerprint recognition, face recognition and voice recognition can be broken and once the encryption system on the ID card is broken, or the master decryption key leaks or is reverse engineered, then all existing ID cards can become vulnerable.Some of the widely used biometrics systems are vulnerable to hacking with even the most common techniques. A fingerprint can be duplicated using gelatin molds and then pressed against the scanner of a fingerprint reader, granting access to its user. There have been instances where voice recognition systems have been defeated with voice recordings. Even face recognition systems have been bypassed with photographs of the legitimate users. Although, the use of hybrid biometrics systems have successfully overcome many of these hacking attempts successfully, it has proved difficult for the authorities to avoid expert hackers who have even managed to outsmart hybrid biometrics systems. With the advent of new technologies in the security, the hackers also advance their expertise to overcome the modern security measures. Therefore, the biometrics sector will be under constant threat from sophisticated hacking and the authorities will have to rely on biometrics on a partial basis.
With increase in the usage of biometric devices, a number of cases have been brought to light where impostors and fraudsters have tried to and in some cases succeeded to bypass the system by using spoofing techniques. This has resulted in a number of anti-spoofing designs and technologies that are being developed by suppliers and an increased focus on multimodal biometrics in order to strengthen security measures by overcoming the limitations of a single technology. Requirement for multimodal biometrics has also been augmented by shortcomings of uni-modal systems such as fingerprints, faces and iris/retinal recognition systems as such systems in isolation can be susceptible to errors arising from non-uniform natural and other surrounding factors such as faulty data, human aging, light fluctuations etc. Such systems are capable of using more than one physiological or behavioral characteristic for identity verification and use technologies such as fingerprints, facial features, iris/retinal scans and vein patterns in conjunction to provide highly secure and above average accuracy. These systems can also effectively deter spoofing as it is almost impossible to duplicate or alter multiple biometric traits, in addition to which some of these multimodal systems can request the user to present random traits that only a live person can do. Given the advantages offered by these systems and the sensitive nature of applications that most biometric systems are used for, it is expected that multimodal biometric systems will gain even more popularity over the forecast period and demand for such systems will be high in all spheres of application including the government, corporate, commercial and banking sectors.
With a number of nations implementing multiple biometric information collection and verification programs, under various government agencies over the forecast period, it is expected that in the immediate future, a truly global need for interoperability among the data and devices of agencies using biometric systems will make its impact felt in the industry. Currently, such interoperability requirements mostly feature in the agenda of early mover nations in this domain, such as the US, which has a vast and long term experience of inter agency biometric information sharing and the interoperability problems that arise out of such co-operation. Interoperability initiatives in the US date back to 2006, when the US Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) Program of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) developed an interoperability project to support the sharing of information among DHS, DOJ, and their respective stakeholders. The implementation of such a system enabled users to submit a single query and receive results from the US-VISIT Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT) and the DOJ Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) rather than submitting two separate queries. Such measures have stemmed from instances where wanted criminals have been able to escape prosecution as one department was not aware of the status of the criminal due non-availability of biometric records for that person which was already in possession of the other agency. If information would have been shared in the manner that is being done now then a large number of such cases could have been prevented which would ultimately effect the country's national and border security positively. Given the benefits that can be derived from such information sharing, interoperability frameworks are also expected to be formulated in other countries across the globe which has implemented multi-agency biometric programs in order to establish coherent and effective information integration.