Governments using biometrics and analytics for data security

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 18 August 2017
Governments using biometrics and analytics for data security

Biometrics and advanced analytics revolutionising the way governments and public service agencies are addressing data security and privacy concerns, according to a new report from Accenture.

The Emerging Technologies in Public Service outlines responses from nearly 800 public sector professionals from North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. It found that popular emerging technologies include advanced analytics, predictive modelling, the internet of things, intelligent process automation, video analytics, biometrics/ identity analytics, machine learning and natural language processing/generation.

Survey results showed that 71% of respondents are currently deploying advanced analytics and predictive modelling solutions, with the highest adoption rates being in revenue (81%), social services (80%), border agencies (74%) and public safety agencies (62%). Around 69% of public sector professionals said their organisations are deploying, or considering deploying, biometric technologies. The most popular technologies are currently e-passports and iris recognition. The public safety industry has the highest rate of adoption (51%), followed by pension and social security agencies (48%), and border agencies (36%).

“Biometrics-based security solutions working in combination with analytics technologies offer government agencies powerful, and previously unavailable, real-time identification and authentication capabilities, enhancing both the security and understanding of data,” said Ger Daly, who leads Accenture’s Defense & Public Safety business. “This enables a new level of customer service, essentially building government services around the citizen, not the institution.”

According to the survey, nearly 73% of respondents cited improved data security and privacy protection as the top benefit of investing in emerging technologies. This is true across all service sectors represented in the survey. While two thirds of respondents from border agencies expect to see increased protection by adopting emerging technologies, an even greater number of respondents from social security and revenue agencies – 84% and 76% respectively – cited it as their top anticipated benefit. Revenue, pension and social security agencies emphasised the potential of reducing risk and improving fraud prevention as key advantages for implementing analytics and biometric technologies.

“As public service and government agencies continue to collect and monitor increasing amounts of data, it becomes increasingly critical to take every possible step to protect not only the quality and collection of the data, but to protect all information that could identify individual citizens as well,” said Terry Hemken, who leads Accenture’s Health & Public Service Analytics Insights for Government business. “Advanced analytic technologies are essential to achieving this goal.”

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