ID WORLD International Congress: Max Snijder

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Max Snijder

Director – European Biometrics Group

Speaks at ID WORLD on Privacy & Data Protection

Max Snijder is one of the leading independent biometrics experts in Europe. It is his mission to advance the proper and beneficial use of biometrics in Europe and abroad by supporting decision makers at a strategic level. His is practical experience and integrated approach has lead to an overall view on the biometrics and ID-management business. This includes strategic aspects of biometrics deployments (like costs/benefits, risk analysis and business models), as well as issues on functional requirements, use cases and processes. In the field of testing and certification of biometric equipment and systems he plays an important role in establishing European capabilities for testing and certification of biometric components and systems.

In 2004 he founded the European Biometrics Group with the purpose of bringing together the fragmented knowledge and experience in the field of biometrics. Currently his network covers all relevant areas of biometrics, from strategic to operational, from legal to technical.

Mr. Snijder is member of several high level bodies, like the Consortium on Security and Technology of the EastWest Institute, The Porvoo Group, the CEN Working Group on Integrated Border Management, CEN Biometric Focus Group. He is Founding Member of the IFIP Working Group on Identity Management and member of the ePractice Working Group on eID. In 2008 he joined ThinkTrust, a European Think Tank on “Investigating Security, Dependability, Trust, Privacy and Identity from ICT and social perspectives”. He is member of the industrial committee of the STORK Project and was member of several the end user committees of European research projects, such as TURBINEand 3DFace. His participation to high level strategic projects like ELSA (European Large Scale Action, preparing a European eIDM infrastructure) and ESRT (European Security Round Table) has brought Max Snijder to develop a vision on large scale use of biometrics in digital environments.

Mr. Snijder participated to and coordinated several European projects, such as the MTIT Project, BioTesting Europe, RISE. He initiated the BEST Network, a thematic network on biometrics funded by the European Commission under the ICT-PSP Program. For the EC JRC/IPTS he produced the report ‘Security and Privacy in Large Scale Biometric Systems’.

On request of the European Parliament and commissioned by the DG Internal Policies he produced the study ‘Developing Biometrics in Europe’ together with the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence, University of Leeds.

In 2010 he produced a report with in depth an analysis on the Dutch Passport Act assigned by the Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy which had a dramatic impact on the governments’ policy and public opinion. Currently Max Snijder is assigned by the European Parliament to investigate the implementation of the European e-passport directive EC2252 by the European member states, with a focus on the biometrics.

Max Snijder is frequently invited to act at conferences, seminars, workshops and expert meetings, such as IDWorld, the Security Defense Agenda, Irish Council for BioEthics, ESRIF, World eID, Biometrics 2006-2010, Homeland Security Europe 2006/2007, Fraud Europe 2007, Fraud World 2008, Advanced eID Systems Europe 2007, the Global Biometrics Summit 2006, A Fine Balance, Border Security 2010, Airport Security Middle East, Passengers Terminal Expo, Border Management and many others. He lectured at the Center of Excellence–Defence Against Terrorism (CoE-DAT) of the NATO in Ankara and gave several workshops for senior management in the domains of aviation, border control and identity fraud. He is member of the program committee of the World eID Conference and the BIOSIG.


Biometrics is envisioned to play an important role in government applications. Already large investements are being made by governments for the roll out of e-passports, biometrics based visa systems, law enforcement systems and surveillance applications.

Do we really understand the uses which are behind these applications and does the technology fit its purpose? Aren’t biometrics creating an intrinsic function creep as it is

the biometrics itself that connects the information and the systems behind it?

Biometrics are no secret and can be taken covertly in public spaces. Social networks provide biometric information (e.g. face and voice) and immense volumes of personal information. So do border control systems and departure control systems at airports. High-end intelligence systems are capable of merging all this information in order to develop identity dominance. For this biometrics play a key role. Do citizens have a choice? Is biometrics the ultimate enabler or the final step towards total identity dominace of citizens? Do governments know what they are investing in? Do citizens know what governments are investing in? Are biometrics able to fundamentally change the relationship between the governments and its citizens? What price do we pay?



Speaking on November 4

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