2021 Women in Biometrics awardee Marta Garcia Gomar is the Chief Technology Officer at IDENTY Touchless ID.
For nearly a quarter of a century, Marta Gomar has dedicated herself to biometrics. She was active in the development of standards for the adoption of biometrics in the security industry (ISO SC37 and FIDO). She is now the Chief Technology Officer for Delaware-based IDENTY, a company developing authentication solutions using touchless biometrics and liveness detection in mobile phones.
“I’m always developing technology products, watching what is happening out there, understanding different technology trends and insights,” Gomar says. She credits a team of “very brilliant people.” Her job, in part, is to figure out what is needed “even before our customers know that they need biometrics or our solution. To achieve that is not only to envision what you want to do, but you need to make it happen.”
She sees her biggest professional achievement as leading the development and further deployment of private, usable, and secure mobile biometric solutions
And Gomar knows how to make it happen. She has invented (or helped invent) the products or systems behind 27 registered biometric patents. These include a tamper-resistant element for use in speaker recognition, a speaker recognition system for authenticating a mobile device user, and combining results from first and second speaker recognition processes.
Her love of biometrics began as a college student working on voice pattern research to help deaf children learn to speak. Her parents were deaf, and this drove her passion for the research. This experience prepared her to create one of the first speech recognition products – a solution that was used by the Spanish police for recognition of suspects in court.
Gomar sees her biggest professional achievement as leading the development and further deployment of private, usable, and secure mobile biometric solutions.
“Apart from helping to meet the privacy requirements from different local regulations, mobile biometrics also helps to dramatically decrease the deployment cost, as everything happens on the user device without the need for extra hardware or servers,” Gomar says, chatting via Zoom from Madrid, Spain. “Both privacy and cost are key for the adoption of biometrics in developing countries, and biometrics is a key enabler for financial inclusion — which is one of the main sustainable development goals from the United Nations for 2030.”
Her proudest accomplishment:
“Thanks to my involvement in FIDO from the very beginning, as my former company Agnitio co-founded the alliance along with others such as PayPal, Lenovo and Nok Nok Labs, and ISO SC 37, I think my main contribution to the industry was driving with other colleagues a biometrics certification process to assess biometrics performance. This ended up with the launch of the FIDO biometrics certification program, the first of its kind in the industry. ISO standards and the FIDO certification program have helped to grow the adoption of mobile biometrics by increasing the confidence on the solutions being deployed in the market.”
Gomar plans to continue “to create and develop disruptive technologies that are useful for different purposes.” She has “exciting deployments in Africa and South America” on tap for banking. “So,” she says, “I guess my biggest achievements remain to be seen.”
The 2021 Women in Biometrics Awards were presented at the Security Industry Association’s GovSummit on Sept. 21, 2021. The program is presented jointly by Avisian Publishing/SecureIDNews and the Security Industry Association, with sponsors including IDEMIA and the SIA’s Women in Security Forum.