Interview: Meet BDI – Biometric Data Interchange

BDI team enables organisations to easily and reliably examine and convert biometric data into a completely open-source format based on ISO standards. Find out more in this interview with Artem Poliakov.

Can you briefly introduce yourself and your team?

Our team consists of 4 members located in Estonia and Ukraine. The core team has been working with various biometric technologies for over 5 years, developing and implementing solutions that enable users to authenticate themselves using any combination of facial, iris, and fingerprint technologies.

What is your motivation to work in the data portability field?

We want to be actively involved in building solutions that help people improve their lives through data portability. We see that access to data portability is a key requirement for societal and economic development all over the globe especially in the developing world. We want to play an active role in creating technologies that can enable everyone to benefit from the benefit of access to safe, trusted biometric technologies in an ecosystem that is diverse and highly interoperable based on open-source principles.  

In simple words, what challenges does your project address?

Biometrics are one of the strongest technologies for people to verify their identity. Unfortunately, the biometric industry is dominated with closed source proprietary formats for storing biometric data. This presents challenges for organisations adopting biometric technologies and for end users wishing to understand what personal data is stored in their biometric data. 

Our project enables organisations to easily and reliably examine and convert biometric data into a completely open-source format based on ISO standards. Enabling organisations more freedom in how they adopt and switch between biometric device vendors. 

What solution are you developing?

Our solution to global biometric format vendor lock-in is to create an open source engine that allows users to convert their biometric data between formats into one open-source format that is applicable between various biometric modalities including fingerprint, iris, and facial recognition.

This will enable organisations to be more transparent with users about what data they are storing with biometric samples. It will also enable more organisations to adopt biometric technologies as a modality of authentication and access control. 

What are the next steps?

Having successfully developed one software solution we are seeking partners to help us bring the value of our solution to an even broader problem set. Biometrics are not just a solution for large enterprise seeking to protect high value assets. Humanitarian missions working in regions where people loose or do not have access to reliable documents such as identity cards, passports, medical records, can deliver safer more accountable aid by using biometrics to securely identify the peoples they work with.

This role can be expanded in areas of poor economic development where secure access to microloans and other financial services can have a transformative effect on peoples lives, lifting people out of poverty and creating strong local economics.