Global ID SA: Using the Keys in Your Hands

Lambert Sonna, CEO of Global ID

Today, electronic identity has become a growing concern for public and private organizations as well as consumers. They all are skeptical about authentication processes carried via information such as passwords or PINs.

Though biometric authentication addresses these concerns by being a novel solution that authenticates by a unique physical feature, effectively like a unique key we each possess, it raises the question of the unwilling capture of such a key. It should use a physical feature that is not continuously dispersed and replicated, such as fingerprints, DNA, and faces. And consumers must be able to exercise control over when their biometrics are captured.

To address these legitimate needs, Global ID provides authentication technology based on invisible keys that can only be used explicitly.

We at CIO Look got into conversation with Lambert Sonna Ph.D., the CEO of Global ID, to know more about the company and how it is safeguarding the identity and privacy of organizations as well as consumers.

Below are the highlights of the interview:

Give us a brief overview of Global ID, its mission, and the key aspects of its strong foothold in the Security industry.

We help answer a very simple question: are you the person we know? We do this by providing truly private biometric authentication. By private, we mean based on explicit consent, to the contrary of public biometry that anyone can capture without asking for permission, such as voice, face, fingerprints, iris, and DNA. We use multi-view finger vein biometry to achieve very high singularity, and the process is patented. Also, we eliminate the replication of one’s biometry across applications, making us compliant with severe laws such as the EU’s GDPR, and here too, we use a patented process. You get it, and we cherish privacy, so we created a compliant solution to help private, public, and non-governmental organizations achieve certain identification of the people they interact with, be they citizens, customers, patients, employees, members, and so on.

Describe your top-notch products and solutions that address the need of your customers.

Business leaders really care about their processes and how they can be made better. Our technologies serve their applications and processes, not vice versa.

So wherever and whenever an organization interacts with an individual, we help them be sure who that person is and so avoid risks, losses, fines, and costs, especially reputation costs. Mistakes and fraud are extremely damaging.

Sensitivity to risk does vary among organizations and is usually related to the perceived importance of the transaction – and here’s the catch – important to whom? The organizations that talk to us worry about the importance to the individuals they serve, customers if you prefer. Security does also sell to the individuals being served, especially if it’s simple to use, and consenting to present one’s finger is as easy as it gets.

For flexibility, we scale from WAN-based authentication all the way to standalone, portable, bearer authentication. We can also enroll or register individuals offline in a remote location and synch records when back online.

What makes Global ID a preferred choice among your clientele over other competitors?

By far, the most positive emotional response we get is about respect for privacy. People are clearly fed up with abuse, they want to regain control, so there is welcome acceptance of our technology.

The next positive response is about the business value of true identification, with consent, via very advanced technology. We have a true digital replacement for our beloved pen and paper signatures without the risks and costs of signature scanning. Just think of the workflow savings!

The “cherry on the cake” comes from simplicity, by design. For individuals served, simplicity means no more intrusive personal questions, stuff to remember, and objects to lose or have stolen. For organizations, simplicity means a flexible architecture with APIs to add high-unicity authentication to whatever applications or processes they have.

Describe the values that drive your organization.

Privacy and simplicity I already mentioned. I can add flexibility in design and attitude, which open doors to OEM integrations and fresh new ideas. Then focus, because authentication is all we do, we are not a giant multinational with mixed priorities, and we do not have the pretense of doing work that value-added integrators and application creators do very well. Finally, our team is diverse, and we want to keep it that way.

Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make your solutions resourceful?

We are lucky to be very close to the research community, even more so within our home base, Switzerland. As we offer a security solution essentially, constantly improving our intellectual property is critical to best serve our customers, we need to be particularly active and responsive to new threats. Beyond research, when it comes to industrialization, we rely on a strong engineering community within Switzerland, well-networked with nearby countries for flexibility.

What, according to you, could be the next big change in the data protection industry? How is your company preparing to be a part of that change?

We can already see the growth in authentication needs across sectors, both in person and online. This will continue and accelerate to the point where, if we continue with the complicated, artificial tools that are proliferating, doing anything that has a digital element will become a painful experience. Stuff to remember, to carry around, to lose or forget, we cannot go on like this. So, pushback from the people they serve will force organizations to find much more user-friendly, simpler, faster methods. We clearly, strongly believe that easy, private biometry is the best way out of the labyrinth.

In what ways have you or your company contributed to the community?

As a start-up, although we have limited financial resources, we are very attentive to requests by NGOs that support humanitarian missions, an example of directly applying our authentication solution to practical applications catering to the well-being of communities in all countries. This is highly appreciated.

What are your future aspirations? Where do you see Global ID in the next five years?

The fast growth of demand for our technologies, due in large part to the increasing need for security via certainty of authentication and to the simplicity we offer, we will see ourselves very well established in the medical sector, where the need for certainty is critical because of safety and fraud prevention. We also expect a strong pull from other sectors requiring certainties, such as financial operators and public services. Finally, the use of private and reliable vein biometry “keys” to sign and authenticate documents will likely surprise us all in applicability across businesses.

Provide a few customer/client testimonials that rightly exhibit your company’s expertise in the market. (if applicable/permissible)

Well, the vast majority so far is from the medical world, where certainty of identity and traceability are critical.  This sector is heavily scrutinized by authorities, by insurers, and by each one of us as eventual patients.  They really like the certainty, of course, but they also really like the scalability, the ease of integration, and how easily their customers accept the use of private biometry.  The benefit extends up and down the value chain, from the insurer, private or public, to professionals, to institutions, to pharmacies, and so on.

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