Albert van Veen (FastID): “Decentralized identity is easier and more secure”


FastID owns a biometric technology that makes identity verification fast and flawless and allows consumers to manage their digital identity decentrally. But explaining the technology and gaining trust takes time, says CIO Albert van Veen, nominated for the Tech Hero Award.

Fear often drives difficult acceptance: companies have power over “their” data; handing that over requires letting go. “You can also get to know your customers well without owning or storing their data. A decentralized identity based on biometrics is better for security and data privacy. Because you manage your data as a consumer. A world with access systems without biometrics is as leaky as a basket. Traditional systems with badges, passes, and PINs may be widely accepted, but in terms of security, they are very weak.”

According to Albert van Veen, FastID is the only company in the world that can identify people with just their faces without sharing their biometrics or storing them somewhere centrally. “We are not a trend follower or early adopter; we are breaking open a whole new market where people get access without a pass, tickets or codes and hands-free.”

“We are not a trend follower or early adopter; we are breaking open a whole new market.”

“Our solution is much better and faster than what is on the market today. We have a huge lead technologically, even over big tech. Those are actually very bad at this because they want to own the user data themselves. Instead of storing it in data lakes and CRM systems, we bring the data and its processing to the user. The decentralized design also makes implementing our solution at organizations super easy. I’ve worked with central databases all my life as a CIO, and they always create hassles, especially when it includes biometrics. It’s insecure, it takes a long time, there are high costs, and database vendors are difficult … In contrast, a decentralized ID is very cheap and easy to implement.”

According to the CIO, you have to create a vision and then just implement it. “Also, don’t talk about it for too long. Thinking about something for a long time is expensive. We also don’t look at the revenue model right away. We’re just going to implement it first, whether at a hotel, a gym, an airport, or a soccer club.”

“I am proud of our team and the people we have gathered around our team – at our customers. They have become fans. They believe in a decentralized identity. The first major pilot users, Berlin Airport and NEC are so enthusiastic, I’m really proud of that.”