By: Jesse Davis West March 08, 2018

As consumers accept facial IDs on their smartphones, security’s comfort levels in the public sector grow.

The on again, off again love affair with biometrics in general and facial recognition, in particular, has been playing out for almost two decades. A wide range of security solutions was laid at the doorstep of the Department of Homeland of Security following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Of them all, biometrics became the sweetheart technology of the news media and of politicians looking for a quick and high-profile answer to thwarting future catastrophic events.

The biometrics industry at the time, which consisted of mostly private engineering-led companies and under-funded entrepreneurs, featured solutions that were more hype than reality in all forms from fingerprint identification and iris scanning to voice recognition and hand geometrics. But with the new DHS mantra of “security through identification,” biometrics had found a champion and politicians had gained a new object of affection.