Exclusive Q&A: Robert LaPenta on the State of Biometrics

Former L-3 exec says biometrics is ready for primetime as a standard technology

I think we'll see multi-level biometric authentication where an iris scan is coupled with a fingerprint scan. But in this silicon-world, you're first going to see a lot of fingerprint keypads, at computers, in grocery check-out lines.

For markets, I think you'll see biometrics used in facility access, IDs, travel and transportation. Passports, financial transactions, elections, driver's licenses, etc. ... these are all going to be leading markets for biometrics. It's going to be used for ID verification and authentication.

When we start discussing issues of biometric databases, it brings strong concerns from civil libertarians. How does the biometrics industry address concerns of civil liberties?

I think the demographics post-9/11 are very favorable when it comes to security. One survey I recently heard was that 65 percent of people are in favor of enhanced security using biometrics. In situations like when they're traveling, people feel a lot better about IDs being checked with biometrics. So what I'm saying is that we could talk for three days about identity crimes and still not come up with all the reasons to use biometrics.