All Shades of the Security Document Market
The organizer of SDW conference states: the gap between document security and people awareness about it is growing
After the three-day Security Document World (SDW) conference finished, Mark Lockie, its organizer, gave an interview to УWatermarkФ magazine. He told us how the conference went on and about the main problems of the security document market discussed in London.
Ц How were the SDW conference and exhibition in 2014?
Ц The event has just finished, and according to preliminary calculations 1609 people took part in it.
Ц Is this the number of people who visited the exhibition or of conference delegates?
Ц This is the total number of people who took part in the event. We do not count separately specialist who work at the exhibition and visitors. Everyone is a part of security document industry and plays their own role.
The number of exhibitors could have been more this year, but we do not have enough space. Unfortunately we had to deny some companies that wanted to take place. To expand we would have to change the venue for the exhibition and the conference, but we won"t do this next year, at least, because this place is located in the centre of London in front of Westminster Abbey and close to many government departments. On the plus side, our limited size makes this exhibition exclusive. In general, it was very pleasant that so many people visited SDW this year, and we expect this to grow next year again.
Ц The number of reports has grown, too. Now the conference takes place in two rooms at the same time. Unfortunately, it is impossible to listen to all presenters.
Ц This year we tried to separate presentations according to the topic. People who visit SDW work in difference spheres of the security document market, so not all reports are equally interesting for them. We decided to hold two parallel sessions to help the participant to spend time more efficiently. However all reports in both rooms were video recorded, so if somebody missed an important report in another room, they can watch it. ≈сть и†другие новшества. We moved to a bigger room with general sessions. All reports were translated from English into two languages Ц French and Spanish. We will estimate this innovation, but in future we will probably translate the reports to the language of the region which is paid attention to at the conference.
Ц You had plans to organize the conference in North America as well. Have you managed to do it?
Ц Yes Ц we held our first North American event this year in March. Called connect:ID the event looked at the broader identity space, focusing on secure document creation, biometrics, smart credentials and digital identity. It focused on government, commercial and consumer uses of identity Ц although, being in Washington, DC it did lean towards more government applications. We found the USA to be Still it was a great success with more than 700 participants in year one. Next year, we hope to break the 1000 barrier.
Ц This year about 60 reports were presented at the conference. How do you choose topics and reporters for the conference?
Ц We have three sources to invite reporters. Firstly, we send an invitation via e-mail. This year we had a lot of propositions. After we get the information about possible reports, we choose the most appropriate ones. Secondly, we estimate everything that is going on at the market and invite specialists who can highlight the most interesting topics. We invite some of reporters directly. Thirdly, we use recommendations of the industry leaders, they advise us whom to invite. So, we try to cover all issues of the security document market.
Ц A couple of years ago your conference differed from others because of original presentations. You told us that it was your own approach. Now the reports seem to become more traditional. Have you changed your point of view?
Ц We have been changed a bit. The event is growing, we touch more issued, the conference is adapting to new spheres of the market. Nevertheless, we try to hold the previous view that reporters cannot act just as Уspeaking headsФ talking about their companies. They have to talk about new features or products, about researches and future of the market.
Ц This year you introduced a new form of report presentations Ц as you called it Уspeed datingФ Ц and gave reporters 10 minutes only. How did it work?
Ц I think that such short presentations are very good for conference though they are quite unusual. If you sit in the audience, there is less risk that you will spend 30 minutes listening to a report that may have little interest. But 10 minutes is long enough to understand the reporter and short enough not to get tires. Our participants liked it and nest year we are going to do the same.
One more thing which is new is a session led by experts who deal with checking documents. For a long time we have been building the relationship with document expert community from different countries. It was an interesting session as the reporters were people who work with document and know well what problems arise, what counterfeited documents can be faced up, and who to protect the documents. For good document security is not enough just to use a big number of security features, it is necessary to create smart design which combines security features in an intelligent way. Representatives from France, Canada, Germany, USA, and many other regions took part in the session. We highly appreciate that we managed to build good relationship with experts of that level.
Ц What conclusions ware made by document check experts?
Ц There is a gap between document security and people awareness about it, and I mean not only general public, but people who work at the border. Border guards and other governmental organizations are not updated on the new documents in different countries on time. A representative of Interpol who was at the conference told about databases of stolen and lost documents. But not all people and services have access to such databases. It is necessary to understand how we can make this gap smaller working together with different services and committees from different countries. A lot of modern documents have multi-applications which are not often used by people. IТm amazed by the project going on in Nigeria, as they used a lot of applications including payment application. However not in all countries the investments into security documents are excused. In the real life most documents are kept in the pockets. One of the reporters asked the audience a question: УWho has driving license?Ф Most of the people raised their hands. After the question УHow often do you use it?Ф most of the people said that they had not used it recently. Very often people take the document once in their life when they get it.
Ц Which reports from the conference would you choose as the most interesting?
Ц The most interesting session seems to be one of the sessions of the last day called УDocument Challenge II Ц Key results, lessons learned, future directionФ. TI was first time at our conference when during a 90 minute sessions specialists from different spheres of the market made reports. Most of these presentations were about readers and travel documents. And the result was overwhelming Ц the same documents were recognized as counterfeited and original. I was very surprised. If very advanced specialists get different results, what can we expect from not very advancedЕ The question about e-gates arises Ц is it possible to trust them? It appears that some border guards are critical about them. Nevertheless this is a very important novelty on the border. For me this session was interesting as all five reports showed its share of market as the most important for the market.
Ц What do you think are the main trends of the security document market?
Ц It is difficult to say, there are quite a fewЕ
Ц For example, it is popular now to use mobile phone applications to check documents. And a lot of companies are developing in this directionЕ
Ц I think you are right. Mobile phones become more and more popular at the security document market. With the help of a smartphone police can check documents, it is also used as a reader. There is on-line and off-line control. Of course, this is a trend of the market.
One more new trend is document authentification with the help of software (the clauds). It was the first time this year a few reports on this issue were made at SDW. Besides, it is important to mention the meaning of biometry. It is not only gathering and using biometrical data, it is also an issue of keeping the data safe. Using biometrical data and data base creating were also popular topics for reports at the conference.
As before, there are a lot of developments in the sphere of traditional document security. I should say about document standardization. The ICAO 9303 document helps us a lot to meet standards, but there are a lot of spheres where standards are necessary. The terms are not very clear and can be read in different ways. Probably that is why a lot of reports were dedicated to standardization and how to make security standards more clear and recognizable at the market.