IBIA appoints new managing director

IBIA appoints new managing director

The International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA), a trade organization for the identity technology industry, has welcomed Robert Tappan as the Association’s new Managing Director.

Tappan has an extensive professional career in corporate communications and in working with industry trade associations, conducting public affairs and issues advocacy campaigns. With over 30 years of experience in Washington, D.C., Mr. Tappan will bring to the IBIA his expert-level knowledge and leadership in issues management, marketing, and reputation management efforts simultaneously.

Notable accomplishments in Mr. Tappan’s career include: serving as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs at the U. S. Department of State from 2002 to 2006; serving as Director of Strategic Communications for Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Baghdad  in 2004 during the Iraq War; and holding senior positions for several leading public relations firms in Washington, D.C., including President of the Washington, DC office of global PR firm, Burson-Marsteller (now BCW Global). He also spent four years as a spokesperson and Director of External Relations for Koch Industries.

“On behalf of the IBIA Board and our Member companies, I am excited to welcome Rob to the IBIA,” said John Mears, Vice President and Tech Fellow at Leidos, and Chairman of the Board of IBIA. “Rob’s experience and communications skills are critical to enlightening people about biometrics and identity management as our industry rapidly evolves.”

As the head of IBIA, Mr. Tappan’s paramount objective is sustaining IBIA as the leading  advocate for the biometrics industry. His vision for IBIA focuses on maintaining industry thought-leadership, advocacy, branding, promoting growth and diversity with companies in this space, while also developing a growth-oriented business plan for the Association. In addition to serving as the visible “voice” of IBIA, Mr. Tappan will also be representing the industry on critical topics of the day to the media. Mr. Tappan will be an advocate on behalf of IBIA, help recruit new members to the Association, and build on the success of its signature yearly industry conference and trade event, Connect:ID, rebranded as IdentityWeek in 2022.

Mr. Tappan will also work with industry members to help shape legislation and policies that are relevant to IBIA’s membership. A major mission is to educate citizens, legislators and policymakers about the benefits of biometrics, and the responsible use of technologies for human identity. To do this effectively, the IBIA seeks to increase its voice in public policy debates and its footprint around the world.

“I am very humbled and delighted to join IBIA at this important time in this industry’s evolution,” said Tappan. “We are seeing the growth of more and more biometric and security technologies, and the development of important new applications. I am proud to be a part of leading this organization into the year 2022 and the future.”

IBIA dispels myths about face recognition tech

IBIA dispels myths about face recognition tech

The International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA) today published a white paper entitled ” Data Analysis of Facial Recognition Technology.” The paper offers an analysis of the independent testing by the National Institute of Standards and Technology ( NIST ), which reveals continued improvement in the accuracy of facial recognition technology by IBIA member companies.

Commenting on the paper’s release, IBIA Chairperson John Mears said, “The IBIA and our member companies are committed to the ethical use of our technologies, especially in the area of facial recognition, without racial or other biases. Our mission is to educate and advocate for best practices, policies and laws that balance civil rights and liberties with the need to properly identify individuals. As the NIST paper and our analysis make clear, facial recognition technologies can help eliminate the biases inherent to human review. Questions of bias are ones we take seriously, both in the data our technologies provide and how that data is applied by those using the technology. We look forward to the opportunity to engage more broadly on these important topics and facilitate a thoughtful dialogue on how we can all do better.”

According to Pew Research, nearly 75% of Americans have heard little or nothing about face recognition technology. This lack of understanding – due in part to a lack of accessible information – contributes to narratives that conflate the different use-cases of the technology and heighten concerns. Whether deliberate or as a result of genuine misunderstanding, such positions serve as a means of confusing and alarming the public and promulgating myths. The paper we publish today seeks to explain NIST test results in clear language. IBIA remains committed to educating the public about the safeguards that go into our technologies and the need for fair application free from bias of any kind.