Frost and Sullivan analysis contained in a report titled “World Biometric Technologies Markets shows the biometric market worldwide generated $66 million in sales in 2000 and can be expected to hit $900 million by 2006. Around the world consumer concern about the privacy of personal information is forcing governments to respond. The information, stored and transmitted by a variety of companies, is feared abused by those who can gain access to it.

Legislators hope strict privacy legislation will guarantee the confidentiality of health insurance records. “The emergence of new standards could demolish a long standing obstacle to industry growth,” says Frost and Sullivan analyst Prianka Chopra. “the biometrics industry, once plagued with interoperability issues, has combined forces and agreed on a common platform.”

Biometrics used to rely on proprietary methods to store and exchange data, locking users into one specific technology. The newly released Biometric API standard (Bio API) should help facilitate communication between applications. Manufacturers of PKI and smart cards, according to the Frost and Sullivan report are working toward integrating their technologies with biometric measures.

Frost and Sullivan performs market consulting and training. Its ongoing research is part of the Auto ID and Security Group, which also includes market analyses on European Biometric ID Markets, World RFID Applications Markets and U.S. P.O.S. Terminal Markets.

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