Webinar: The Role of Technology in Ensuring the Future of Free Movement

EEMA is hosting a virtual panel debate on the future of free movement post pandemic on Tuesday 29th June (11.00 to 12.15 CET). The event will include a presentation from Bart Preneel, a Professor at KU Leuven and part of the team that developed Belgium’s coronavirus tracing smartphone app – Coronalert.

The Post Covid-19 – Ensuring the Future of Free Movement webinar will consider the role technology has to play in the safe reopening of society. Chair of EEMA, Jon Shamah, states: “The pandemic has forced countries to close their borders. Now, with many nations beginning to roadmap a cautious re-opening, driven by accelerating vaccines programs, we look at the role technology has play post pandemic, in areas such as contact and proximity tracing, digital certificates and vaccine passports.”

The panel debate is the opening session of EEMA’s 34th Annual Conference ‘Securing Trust in the New Digital Reality’ which this year will take place as a series of six free-to-attend webinars. The session will be Chaired by Steve Pannifer, COO of Consult Hyperion, who will be joined by Professor Bart Preneel, Andy Tobin, Vice President of Delivery at Evernym and Viky Manaila, Trust Services Director at Intesi Group SpA.

Last year the EEMA Annual Conference attracted 450 industry leaders from 40 countries. This year the theme ‘Securing Trust in the New Digital Reality’ will take place in a series of six webinars from 29th June 2021 till 1st July 2021.

Registration is free but places are limited. To book a place click here.

Evolution not revolution: Why mobile fingerprint sensors are here to stay

Around the world, we have fallen in love with our mobile devices. There are 10+ billion devices in circulation, we check them 58 times daily on average and 65% of Americans check their smartphones up to 160 times a day! We estimate that time spent unlocking using PINs and passwords equates to 41 minutes each week, or about 4 months of our lives. This is why biometrics is now firmly embedded within the mobile user experience. Over 80% of mobile devices shipped today now incorporate some form of biometric sensor, with users drawn to the convenience, functionality and security to ease the frequent locking and unlocking of devices.

Capacitive fingerprint sensors are a long-proven technology in mobile, due in no small part to its balance of high performance, cost, and reliability. But mature does not mean old. In fact, we estimate the potential annual shipment of capacitive fingerprint sensors for smartphones to be ~800 million by 2026. But beyond growth, this trusted and prolific tech is still evolving, being adopted by new use cases and enabling new mobile design trends.

Authentication, authentication, authentication

As mobile connectivity has expanded and become faster, smartphones have become our go-to device for a huge number of uses far beyond calls and messages. With hygiene now a primary concern, consumers are turning to smartphones for even more uses – from banking to shopping. This is rising too, with global mCommerce expected to grow 70% between 2020 and 2025. As the use of our devices increases and captures even more sensitive information, such as banking details and ID information, the adoption of biometrics is growing to add strong authentication without increasing friction. Passwords and PINs can be hacked and compromised, but modern fingerprint biometric technology is a lot harder to trick.

Biometrics’ value in securing payments is well documented. Juniper Research anticipates biometric authentication will secure over $3 trillion worth of mobile transactions by 2025. Global payments standards body EMVCo recently incorporated the evaluation of biometric sensors for mobile payment authentication into its scope, with our latest slim mobile sensor becoming the first of its kind to achieve approval. Recognition of biometrics by the payments industry shows its growing role as a trusted, invaluable enabler of mobile payments. 

UX is king

Despite the emergence of face and iris recognition, and under-display sensors, the importance of user experience (UX) is seeing the more traditional fingerprint sensors continuing to retain – and even grow – market share. One need only look at Google’s recent return to fingerprint after devices featuring just facial recognition. For today’s OEMs and developers, ensuring convenience and a seamless UX remain most critical to any new device. Optimized over years of innovation, active capacitive fingerprint sensors by far deliver the strongest balance between usability and security.

While undoubtedly other authentication technologies will continue to gain adoption and enhance performance through R&D, the reliability and robust security of capacitive means it is here to stay. It is also forming a key pillar of multimodality authentication, working alongside other biometric technologies or authentication methods to further improve UX and security. For example, a fingerprint is combined with face and iris recognition to enable users to unlock devices when wearing gloves or a mask. Biometrics can also offer a complementary strong authentication layer to PINs and passwords, enabling two-factor authentication without adding to the complexity. 

Evolution not revolution

While UX and security remain king, upgrades in design are still being made. In fact, the evolution of active capacitive sensors is closely supporting an iterative smartphone design movement that is adding small, value-added modifications to devices without totally ‘reinventing the wheel’.

First sensors moved from front to back, now to the side and, incorporating additional functions such as scrolling and volume control. The continued innovation of this mature, trusted technology is favoured by consumers and OEMs alike, helping realize new design trends such as folding and borderless devices. Xiaomi recently became the first to launch devices with a curved fingerprint sensor, also in its first foldable screen phone. The sensor’s innovative curved design enables a more seamless integration into the mid frame of the device and doubles as a power button.

Fingerprints is proud to have led much of the innovation that has enabled biometrics to reach mass market, and our technology now features in over 500 mobile device models by nine out of the top ten OEM brands. Fingerprint recognition was first added to smartphones less than ten years ago, and it will be a part of the mobile ecosystem for years to come. As the mobile industry continues to evolve, the value of this technology endures and continues to offer users reliability, a quality experience and unparalleled security and enables new design innovations. In tech, it is always difficult to look too far into the future, but we can be certain there’s much life left in the ‘traditional’ fingerprint sensor.

Author: Ted Hansson, SVP Business Line Mobile at Fingerprints

David G.W. Birch Appointed Honorary President of EEMA

EEMA has announced that David G.W. Birch has been appointed as Honorary President of EEMA,  sharing the role alongside the creator of the Seven Laws of Identity,  Kim Cameron.

Ranked one of the top 100 global fintech influencers for 2021, David G.W. Birch holds board and advisory roles in Europe and North America, including being a member of the governing council of the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation. He is a Forbes contributor and Financial World columnist, as well as being recognised as one of the top ten most influential voices in banking by Financial Brand.

David has made a huge contribution to EEMA in the five years since joining its Board of Management. He has represented EEMA around the world as a distinguished speaker and highly-respected author, advisor and commentator on digital financial services and digital identity. He has written three books: Identity is the New Money (2014), Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin (2017) and last year published his latest book  The Currency Cold War—Cash and Cryptography, Hash Rates and Hegemony, which explores  the world of digital currency and considers the implications for the future of money.

He joins the inaugural Honorary President of EEMA and a recipient of the its Lifetime Achievement Award, Kim Cameron. Based in Canada, Kim is the CIO of Convergence Technology and the former Chief Architect of Identity at Microsoft. His seminal paper The Laws of Identity was published in 2005 and is still being discussed 15-years on.

“I am honoured to accept this prestigious position given to me by EEMA, especially alongside Kim Cameron, whose pioneering ideas around digital identity were a significant inspiration to my own work in the field ” comments David G.W. Birch. Recently, Dave and Kim participated together during EEMA’s first virtual ISSE conference to debate ‘Why digital identity doesn’t yet exist?’ with an international audience of EEMA members.

Chair of EEMA, Jon Shamah, comments: “The EEMA Board of Management and Executive Office are proud of the long association and friendship with two of the most well recognised, respected and affable figures in the world of identity. David and Kim both go above and beyond to support EEMA initiatives and so many of our members have benefits from their generosity of time and words of wisdom.”

EEMA Intelligence Report: Will Distributed Identity Ever Be Intelligible to the Average Citizen?

EEMA has published its first EEMA Intelligence Report, providing new research findings and world-leading expert commentary on the issue – Will Distributed Identity Ever Be Intelligible to the Average Citizen?

Distributed Identity is the new buzz-phrase for the identity industry and is focused on the premise that citizens should be give more control over their identity an how much information is shared and with whom. As Identity experts grapple with the philosophical, technological, logistical and legal aspects regarding if and how Distributed Identity becomes a reality, there is a question mark over whether those it aims to empower will fully comprehend and embrace the concept.

The EEMA Intelligence Report asks the question – Will Distributed Identity Ever Be Intelligible to the Average Citizen? And the results reveal that  43% believe that it needs to be invisible to the average person; 32% say that it is easy to understand with some public education, whilst  25% of the 92 respondents think it’s  too complicated and will not succeed.

The new paper includes insights from John Erik Setsaas, VP of Identity and Innovation at Signicat in Norway; Marc Sel, Founder and director of Trust Warp, based in Belgium and Arkadiy Kremer from RANS in Russia. Marc Sel comments: “One can but hope that some Distributed Identity solutions will prove their value in practice, while respecting the law including the protection of its users privacy. After all, many people are capable of driving a car without understanding the details of its inner working.”

Chair of EEMA, Jon Shamah, states: “The key for distributed identity is to offer functionality that can require no additional effort (or thought) by the consumer. Therefore, an almost plug-and-play changeover must be offered. Not easy if the paradigm is so different, and Distributed Identity is indeed different.”

Shamah adds: “We are proud to start 2021 with the launch of this exciting new initiative.” The EEMA Intelligence Report takes advantage of EEMA’s privileged position, having unfettered access to an extensive global network of world-leading experts, working at the highest levels in corporate organisations, national governments, EU departments and academic institutions. Each report provides high-level vendor neutral insights into current and future trends and technologies that could impact society, commerce and governance.  

The first EEMA Intelligence Report is available to EEMA members and non-members as a free download available at: eema-intelligence-first-edition.pdf

GLASS to Place EU Citizens in Control of Their Personal Information and Streamline Access to eGovernment Services Across Member States

GLASS – SinGLe Sign-on eGovernAnce paradigm based on a distributed file exchange network for Security, transparency, cost effectiveness and truSt – is a new EU funded Horizon 2020 project (H2020-EU., which runs from 1st January 2021 until 31st December 2023. The initiative will use blockchain technology to deliver a distributed framework for sharing common services of public administration across the EU, for the benefit of citizens, businesses and governments.

The rapid growth of information and communication technology and its ubiquitous presence in everyday life has significantly affected the way government services are delivered today. This poses constant challenges to safeguard the data confidentiality and integrity of eGovernment services, while increasing its adoption and usage by citizens and businesses. GLASS caters for a ‘European Common Services Web’, bringing closer together citizens, businesses and European governments.

GLASS will introduce novel governance services that facilitates free movement for citizens and businesses. In doing so it will create a strong social, societal, economic, technological and scientific impact, leading to an advanced eGovernment solution that is fully aligned with the EU eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020 and the EU Digital Single Market Strategy. These new services will be demonstrated by three real case scenarios concerning paperless cross-border bureaucratic processes.

GLASS is a citizen-centric project that will deliver a streamlined process for EU citizens to quickly and easily share evidences, such as a birth certificate or driving licence, with third-parties in other Member States, in order to access the eGovernment services they require. All consortium participants believe that the project will create a new paradigm for the friction-free sharing and transfer of evidences, where the citizen remains in full control.

The GLASS project consortium, led by Uni Systems Information Technology Systems Commercial SMSA, brings together 12 interdisciplinary partners from eight countries to deliver a novel eGovernance model and address the challenges that governance structures in the EU are currently facing – from divergent and legal groundwork to physical and technological limitations – towards the democratization and openness of the public administration services.

The GLASS consortium partners are:

Universities / Research Organisations

  • Uni Systems Information Technology Systems (Greece) [Coordinator]
  • Edinburgh Napier University (United Kingdom)
  • Fraunhofer Gesellschaft Zue Foerderun Der Angewandten Forschung E.V. (Germany)
  • Unisystems Luxembourg SARL (Luxembourg)
  • University of Patras (Greece)

Public Authorities

  • Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (Turkey)
  • Ministério da Justiça (Portugal)
  • Ministry of Digital Governance (Greece)

Technology Providers / Domain Specialists

  • European Electronic Messaging Association AISBL (Belgium)
  • PDM E FC Projecto Desenvolvimento Manutencao Formacao E Consultadorialda (Portugal)
  • Suite5 Data Intelligence Solutions Limited (Cyprus)
  • Teknoloji Arastirma Gelistirme Endustriyel Urunler Bilisim Teknolojileri Sanayi Ve Ticaret Anonim Ticaret (Turkey)
  • Ubitech Limited (Cyprus)

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 959879.