August 18, 2022

We often get asked how iProov is different to other liveness providers. A large part of this is down to our user-centric design: users can authenticate themselves irrespective of cognitive ability, age, skin tone, or face shape.

Our solution complies with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA and section 508. Most other liveness providers do not. Governments and enterprises need to be able to deliver inclusivity within their digital services and there are very few liveness providers that can support this. iProov is one of the liveness vendors that does.

In this article we explain why inclusivity and accessibility are so important when choosing an online authentication solution. We also look at how WCAG conformance demonstrates iProov’s commitment to including the one billion people – approximately 15% of the world’s population – who live with some form of disability. As many people as possible should be able to benefit from the security and convenience of biometric authentication.

What Is WCAG? Why Is It Important?

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) developed extensive Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to ensure online accessibility for all, regardless of age, literacy, language, cognitive ability, disability, or other constraints. WCAG is the best-practice standard for a range of digital experiences – namely websites and mobile apps. You can read more about the four principles of WCAG (perceivability, operability, understandability, and robustness) here.

The WCAG 2.1 AA conformance means users with cognitive or learning disabilities, low vision, or those with disabilities on mobile devices, have improved accessibility. This ensures that iProov customers and partners can meet even greater standards of usability and accessibility.

By ensuring inclusion, organizations using iProov for online authentication can reach the widest possible audience and avoid excluding citizens and customers from accessing digital services. Prioritizing accessibility and inclusivity is the right thing to do, and can greatly improve customer experience.

Why Are Accessibility and Inclusivity Important for Biometric Authentication and Liveness?

WCAG and 508 guidelines are vital to ensuring that online services are accessible to as many people as possible, regardless of cognitive or physical challenges. This is particularly important for organizations that are using technology to deliver access to critical digital services, such as government, banking, health and other services.

Biometric verification and authentication technology enables online users to prove their identity when accessing online services. Face biometrics not only enables them to access those services more easily than remembering passwords or using one-time passcodes, but it also prevents use of stolen identities and identity fraud.

How Does iProov Ensure Inclusivity and Accessibility?

iProov is built by design to deliver usability, inclusivity, accessibility, security, and privacy. A user that is authenticating or verifying their identity online with iProov simply aligns their face with the device. The experience is passive and effortless, with the technology doing the work.

iProov’s technologies deliver maximum inclusivity and accessibility in a number of ways:

  • iProov does not require the user to read any complex instructions or perform any actions: The technology does the work rather than the user. Some solutions require users to turn their head or speak out words/numbers displayed on the screen. With iProov, the process is entirely passive (you can learn more about passive versus active authentication here).
  • Device and platform-agnostic: iProov works on any device with a user-facing camera. For users that do not possess a smartphone, or require additional assistance in person, we have made our solution available on kiosks – which allows organizations to offer secure services to as many citizens and customers as possible.
  • Diverse data sets: iProov is used across the globe, which means that we are always actively looking for, and removing, bias in our systems.
  • Comfortable user engagement: iProov technology supports natural posing and camera positioning from the user, which keeps the experience easy and natural. Biometrics that require dynamic device positioning, such as holding a phone or laptop in a certain place in relation to your face, lack usability for some individuals.

Inclusivity should be a starting point for any digital service. It can’t be added retrospectively.

Inclusivity was one of the pillars on which we founded our business. Expecting someone to be able to follow instructions or have a $600 smartphone is not acceptable. That’s why we ensured our technology requires no instructions and can be used on any device or platform.

WCAG Conformance Explained

iProov has been separately and independently audited and found fully compliant with WCAG standards. When considering a biometric vendor, WCAG compliance should be among the items on your checklist.

Testing on iProov SDKs (Web, iOS, and Android™) for WCAG 2.1 AA conformance was carried out by external accessibility experts TetraLogical, a member of the W3C and contributor to standards including WCAG. While many providers conform to a few accessibility standards, TetraLogical’s tests have shown that iProov’s SDKs also conform to many of the most stringent standards, including:

Biometrics, Inclusivity, Accessibility, and WCAG: A Summary

  • Inclusivity and accessibility should be at the heart of biometric authentication solutions. When replacing or enhancing passwords – or introducing seamless user onboarding – optimal inclusivity and accessibility are crucial to success. If people can’t use technology easily, they will drop out of the process.
  • iProov delivers optimal inclusivity and accessibility through a number of core technology features. We are device-agnostic, passive, and do not require any additional tasks or actions from users to authenticate.
  • Our work is independently validated to WCAG compliance. By ensuring inclusion, organizations using iProov for online authentication can reach the widest possible audience and avoid excluding citizens and customers from accessing digital services.

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