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Biometrics Privacy & Security Research Engineer - Remote



United Kingdom
Posted on Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Simprints is a nonprofit tech company with a mission to radically increase transparency and effectiveness in global development. We build ethical, inclusive digital ID powered by biometrics to verify that health, aid, and services truly reach people. Simprints partners with organizations like Gavi to boost immunization rates in developing countries, Ministries of Health like Ghana on pandemic response, and NGOs like BRAC to deliver maternal healthcare. Studies have shown Simprints increases impact through real-time, precision data; for example increasing maternal health visits by 38% in Bangladesh or accurate HIV tracing by 62% in Malawi. Today, we’ve worked in over 17 countries helping deliver health, aid, and finance to >2.5M people. Our goal is to transform the way the world fights poverty, ensuring that every vaccine, every dollar, and every public good reaches the people who need them most.

About the Role

As a Biometrics Privacy & Security Research Engineer, you will be responsible for enhancing the privacy and security of our biometrics solutions used to deliver life-saving services to vulnerable people globally. Your primary focus will be investigating the mainstream security technologies and privacy-preserving technologies suitable for the context of biometrics. A possible initial start would be a benchmark assessment of existing Biometric Template Protection schemes (BTPs) and their impact on biometric performance, runtime efficiency and security and privacy requirements for our use-case. After understanding the operational tradeoffs and constraints, together with our team of product mangers, data scientists and software engineers, you will design and implement a best-in-class solution.


This is a remote job; however we are currently only able to take forward applicants based in the UK, Ghana, Ethiopia, Poland, Bulgaria or Romania. We are unable to provide visa sponsorship for this role.


UK Grade 6: £55,000 - £70,000 with a cost-of-living adjustment for non-UK residents

Your impact

At Simprints, we want everyone to feel ownership of the tasks they are working on, starting from your first day. As a Biometrics Privacy & Security Research Engineer, you will be given a “north star” in the shape of a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) or goal and you will be asked to come up with a strategy to get there. In your first month, you will be given the resources you need to set up your environment and start learning about the Simprints biometrics platform, its security and the operational realities of international development and humanitarian contexts. This will include access to our codebase, documentation, and data. You will also have the opportunity to meet with our team members across the teams to get a good overview about the company and our goals. By your third month, you will be well on your way to defining a set of requirements for advancing the security and privacy of our biometrics platform. This will involve understanding the current state of the solution, identifying areas for improvement, doing intensive research and gathering feedback from stakeholders. In six months, you will have a high degree of autonomy in putting your ideas into practice. This will involve working with our team to define the system architecture, select the appropriate technologies, and implement the solution.

Role Responsibilities

  • Conduct a thorough analysis of existing Biometric Template Protection methods, along with other privacy-preserving techniques such as data perturbation
  • Assess the feasibility of each method and analyze potential trade-offs to determine their suitability considering the defined requirements
  • Define a set of requirements for a private and secure biometric system specifically designed for international development and humanitarian contexts
  • Utilizing the findings from the landscape analysis, design an open-source biometric system incorporating enhanced privacy and security features
  • Collaborate closely within the product and engineering team to ensure seamless implementation of the designed biometric system

What are the “must-have” skills and experience for this role?

  • Previous experience working on privacy-enhancing technologies, such as Biometric Template Protection methods or homomorphic encryption
  • A good understanding of privacy notations (e.g. t-closeness, k-anonymity)
  • PhD in Computer Science, or a related field, with a focus on biometrics, cryptography, privacy-preserving technologies or security enhancements
  • At least 5 years experience of coding in Python or C#/ C++ and the ability to translate mathematical algorithms into code

What are the "nice to have" skills and experience for this role?

  • Proficiency in Machine Learning techniques, algorithms, and frameworks relevant to biometrics
  • Worked or working on projects that involve biometrics
  • Understanding of the threats, countermeasures and existing attacks on biometric systems
  • Experience using cloud-based hosting environments (e.g. GCP, AWS)
  • Interest or has worked in contributing to open source projects

7 Reasons to join Simprints

Life is short. We believe work should be awesome, meaningful, and fun. At Simprints, we’re taking on global development’s biggest challenges, powered by an amazing culture and incredible people. Work with us, and you will grow faster, learn more, and take on great responsibilities with the potential to make lasting change.

  1. Genuine Impact. Work directly with our partners and users to deliver technology that has the potential to impact millions of lives.
  2. Incredible, diverse team. Ask any “Simployee” what their favorite thing about working at Simprints is, and the answer is likely to be “the people.” Our work is at the intersection of technology and global development, and we’ve managed to build an amazing team drawn from all over the world. But don’t take our word for it—we’re an externally recognized Great Place to Work and 2022 Best Workplace for Women
  3. Career Advancement. Join the team of a forward-thinking social enterprise that is making waves with some of the biggest names in our sector. Simprints Alumni have gone on to work for Google, USAID, Gavi the vaccine alliance, Save the Children, and other top players.
  4. Flexible hours. More efficient late at night? Better before the sun rises? Need to squeeze in a doctor’s visit Thursday morning? That’s fine by us. We are looking for people who get the job done, not for people who clock-in and clock-out. Outside of core hours (10am to 3pm UK) it's up to you to decide when the job gets done.
  5. Professional development and well-being. We promote continual learning with self-directed learning objectives, external mentors, and regular one-on-one feedback. We also put our money where our mouth is with a dedicated ‘Learning ’ budget, and access to global experts through the GLG network.
  6. Unlimited paid time off. We set high standards and goals, but give people the freedom to choose when and how to recharge. Join a team that trusts you with the job.
  7. 4 day work-week. We are currently on a 6 month pilot where we are trialling a 4 day work-week. Nobody is expected to work Friday's, so you'll get to enjoy a long weekend, every weekend. So far, the data has indicated this is a positive change, so we hope to make this a permanent fixture at the end of the pilot.