HS Daily Wire conversationAn HS Daily Wire conversation with Walter Hamilton of the International Biometrics Industry Association (IBIA)

Published 8 July 2008

Walter Hamilton, chairman of the Board of Directors of IBIA, talks about different biometric technologies, new and innovative biometric approaches, the role of biometric in security and commerce, biometrics in the theater of battle, and more

The International Biometrics Industry Association (IBIA) is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit trade group which represents the collective international interests of the biometric industry. Walter Hamilton, a recognized industry authority and an expert on biometric technology, was recently reelected to a fourth term as chairman of the IBIA. He also serves as chairman of the Biometric Foundation, a nonprofit organization for research and education. He is committed to the advancement of biometric technologies and is an advocate for adoption of open standards, which he considers crucial to the development of the industry. Hamilton is also a senior consultant with Identification Technology Partners, a consulting firm that specializes in identity technologies. On 2 July he answered questions put to him by HS Daily Wire.

HS Daily Wire (DW): Please give our subscribers a brief introduction to the International Biometrics Industry Association.

Walter Hamilton: The IBIA is a nonprofit trade association founded in 1998. The twenty-nine members are manufacturers or developers of biometric software technology, or integrated solution providers. Solution providers are companies that do not make the biometric sensor or algorithm, but build these into an over-all suite of solution products. Our membership includes some firms that do consulting in this field, as well as companies that do biometric standards compliance and conformance testing.

DW: Are IBIA members active in all types of biometric technologies? What markets do they serve?

Hamilton: Our member companies cover the full range. Face recognition. Fingerprint. Hand geometry. Iris recognition. Blood vessel or vascular patterns. Even DNA. Many members are active in both international and domestic markets, notably in providing products for major government security initiatives. These include border security, law enforcement, and credentialing programs for example to enable access for people privileged to enter a federal building or to log onto a government computer system.

Some IBIA members also provide products for consumer-type or other commercial applications that are not government oriented. So our membership covers the whole base.

DW: How is the Association structured?

Hamilton: The members of the board of directors are elected by the membership and serve on a voluntary basis. While I serve as chairman of the board of directors of IBIA, I am employed by one of the IBIA member firms that happens to be a consulting firm in the D.C. area. My employer believes that it is a benefit for our company for me to volunteer my time on behalf of the industry, since