December 13, 2021

Back in November, iProov celebrated our 10th birthday and a decade of bringing simple, secure online identity verification to the world. When our CEO was asked in a birthday interview ‘how has digital identity changed in the past 10 years?’, many of the biggest changes he talked about had only occurred in the past 24 months.

This is because the pandemic continues to accelerate the pace of change in digital identity and biometrics. Our predictions for digital identity in 2021 were ambitious in some areas and yet they all saw progress.

And so for 2022, iProov is predicting that the uptake of biometric authentication and verification will continue to soar, as the world comes to terms with the ever-increasing dangers of cyber criminality and the growing importance of secure digital identity.

1. Cyberattacks adapt to the age of AI  

As machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) tools become more prevalent in our daily lives, attackers are getting more sophisticated—both in which systems they target and the tools they use to attack. The technology to commit financial crime and cause disruption on a huge scale is cheaper and more freely available than ever before—deepfakes being a good example of this. The rush to move activities online as a result of the pandemic significantly increased the incentive for criminal networks. They honed their tactics, and now they’re relentlessly and persistently attacking systems every day, specifically targeting weak spots in machine learning systems. 2022 will see a further increase in the rate of evolution of these complex attacks.

2. Social networks take responsibility 

Social networks and online dating services will continue to take more responsibility for the protection of their users in 2022. The lack of accountability on many networks is enabling miscreant users, as well as organized criminal networks, to perpetuate fraud, disinformation and abuse through social engineering, catfishing and trolling. Social networks will turn to identity verification, whether voluntary or mandatory, to bring peace of mind to users. Privacy will also play a significant role. 

3. The sharing economy continues to build trust through identity verification

Peer-to-peer services—also known as the ‘sharing economy’—where platforms like Airbnb, Uber and Deliveroo connect workers with members of the public, are looking for ways to build trust and reassurance with users and staff. In 2022, we expect to see the wider roll out of ID verification with an unshareable credential within this economy to help users of these services feel more comfortable and confident about the authenticity of interactions. Inclusivity will be key here and solutions that monitor and mitigate for bias will take center stage.

4. Enterprise workers meet biometrics—whether WFH, in the office, or on the move 

Two years on from the world’s mass migration to home working during the pandemic, there will be a need in 2022 for more unified remote work authentication solutions as the hybrid working world matures. Greater home and flexible working have resulted in a reliance on BYOD that has put core enterprise security at risk. In 2022, we can expect to see more device-agnostic biometric authentication solutions deployed that can enable employees, contractors and suppliers to work more easily and securely across multiple devices. This frees workers and employers from the vulnerabilities and complexity of password management, while simplifying login to enterprise applications across environments.  

5. The unshareable credential will grow in importance

How do you restrict authentication to a particular individual? It’s a growing concern in numerous areas, from employee remote access to systems and physical offices, through to COVID status credentials, through to the sharing economy. For example, if a driver is registered with a ride-sharing firm, how can the company and passengers be assured that the registered individual is actually doing the driving at any given time? Passwords and devices can be willingly shared or forcibly stolen, which means that biometric authentication will lead the way in this area.

6. Identity is put in the hands of consumers

The pandemic has accelerated global consumer understanding of digital identity. The need to assert your COVID credentials before you travel, for example, has created a sea change in how people think about the sharing of personal data.   

In 2022, we can expect to see more services emerging that put the citizen in charge of how they assert their personal credentials without oversharing. How do you prove you’re over 21, for example, without divulging your date of birth?

7. US sees explosion in digital identity uptake  

In 2022, we can expect the US to move from laggard to leader in digital identity, leapfrogging other regions of the world. In the US, this will occur simultaneously in federal government, state government and private sector applications. By the end of 2022, half of the US population will have at least one form of digital identity. 

This is being driven largely by the pandemic. The need to offer remote digital access to government support programs, REAL ID upgrades and more has accelerated the demand for online services and the delivery of those services in a way that is both secure and inclusive. With these identities now in place, we’ll undoubtedly see more applications for them in 2022. This will not have gone unnoticed by organized crime networks, and as citizens use those identities to access more services, secure authentication will become paramount. The ability of biometrics to offer identity-assured authentication will provide the solution to this challenge.

8. European regulation to spark innovation  

In 2022, the EU’s eIDAS standard is set to be revised, of which the UK follows its own version. eIDAS is shorthand for Electronic IDentification, Authentication and Trust Services and is a framework for enabling organizations and individuals to verify identities, e-signatures and documents across borders within the EU. As well as encouraging international trade for economic growth, eIDAS will foster greater inclusivity as people will be able to choose to engage online, reducing the environmental impact of travel, increasing efficiency, and driving a cost effective option. In parallel, a new European anti-money laundering organization has been created, which will require organizations to double down on the security and veracity of business transactions.   

These two developments combined mean that in 2022 we can expect to see a big push in Europe and the UK to ensure trust and validate the authenticity of electronic transactions and secure access to services. We expect a wave of innovation to follow, as Europe embraces new ideas covering citizen wallets and verifiable credentials to ease adherence to new standards and accelerate the delivery of digital trust.

If you’d like to learn more about how iProov can secure and streamline your organization’s online verification, authentication and onboarding with face biometrics, book your demo today.

2022 Biometrics & digital identity predictions