Biometrics in border security and banking, fingerprint technology trending this week

February 7, 2016 - 

Here is a recap of the most popular biometrics industry news that appeared on BiometricUpdate.com this past week.

Border security

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is advising the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a new report to reveal a new time frame for implementing a biometric exit system at U.S. airports. The GAO report ultimately finds that DHS had not fulfilled statutory requirements to implement a biometric exit capability and report data on overstays.

Gemalto was selected by Gabon’s department of homeland security to supply and implement an end-to-end border and visa management system. The new system will strengthen security, improve operational efficiency and enhance the traveling experience for people entering and leaving the Central African state by speeding up the issuance of visas, e-Visas and permits.

Singapore Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Lee announced to Parliament this week that, starting in June, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority will be capturing the fingerprints of anyone who enters Singapore at its air, land and sea checkpoints allowing immigration authorities to verify a traveller’s identity before they are allowed entry into Singapore and facilitate automated self-clearance during departure.

Sweden announced that it has moved closer to a deal with the United States that would see the two countries swap biometric data to tackle crime. The law drafted by the Swedish government would let authorities in both countries run fingerprint searches in each other’s databases but would require a formal request for access to a person’s name and other personal data.

In an exclusive interview with BiometricUpdate.com, John Kendall, Security Program Manager for Unisys in the Asia-Pacific region, noted that when it comes to enhancing personal security, Australian travelers are willing to use biometrics at the border. “Our research found that three-quarters of Australians are familiar with and would accept the use of biometrics for border clearance purposes.”

Banking

Goode Intelligence has published its Biometrics for Financial Services analyst report series, which among other things identifies the top five trends that are driving the adoption of biometrics for financial services. The series features three separate analyst reports detailing the adoption of biometric technology across a range of financial services, as well as exploring biometrics for banking, payments and mobile.

Tony Chew, Citibank’s global head of cybersecurity regulatory strategy, recently said that banking apps ought to add support for biometric technology, and condemned the apps for lacking “imagination and creativity”. He also said it was “absurd” that banks still rely on passwords and PINs to authenticate customers, and criticized SMS-based OTPs as being an inconvenient method for authenticating transactions.

Fingerprints

Fingerprint Cards (FPC) issued its year-end report for 2015 in which the company detailed revenues of US$345 million for the year, representing a 1,142 percent increase over the previous year. FPC CEO Jörgen Lantto said the year-end results “confirms that FPC has established a leading position in a rapidly expanding market.” Bloomberg Business recently reported that Fingerprint Cards was Europe’s best performing stock for 2015.

Q Technology announced that two unnamed Chinese smartphone manufactures recently ordered approximately 500,000 units of fingerprint recognition modules. Q Tech chairman He Ningning commented; “We are very grateful for our customers’ partnership and trust. The new orders mean that Q Technology has officially entered into the field of fingerprint recognition, and has made further progress in terms of biometrics recognition.”

Pishon Lab, the creators of Tapp, are pitching fingerprints over keys and combinations as the better way to open and secure a padlock. They are looking to raise money via Indiegogo to start production and quality assurance of its TappLock and TappLock Lite padlock. Each device uses the FPC 1020 fingerprint sensor from Fingerprint Cards. At time of publication, they had raised almost $115,000 USD, 287% of its $40,000 fixed goal.

Microsoft featured BIO-key as its only biometric solution partner on its 12-city roadshow as part of the U.S. launch of Windows 10 for Business and the company reported that more than 40 percent of attendees met with BIO-key and requested engagement regarding BIO-key products for Windows 10 and Hello, Microsoft’s native biometric logon option. BIO-key’s line of fingerprint readers work natively with Windows 10 by simply plugging them into a USB port.

Privacy

The Biometrics Institute has finalized the revised version of its Biometrics Privacy Guidelines. The guidelines contain sixteen principles addressing issues including respect for client privacy, informed consent, protection of biometric data collected, purpose, accountability, sharing of biometric data, transmission of biometric data beyond national boundaries and protection of employee biometric data.

Cybersecurity

A group of leading Chief Information Security Officer’s (CISOs) say that days are numbered for the password as a sole authentication method and that advanced authentication methods must be used in tandem with traditional passwords. Ten CISOs from across various industries weighed in on the topic, with most seeing enterprises moving to augment or supplement traditional passwords with advanced technologies, such as biometrics.

Facial recognition

Australia’s Top End Minerals has signed an agreement to acquire Tel Aviv-based facial recognition company Anyvision. Upon closure of the transaction and approvals, Top End will acquire all of the issued capital of Anyvision from the vendor equity holders for $6 million. This consideration involves $100,000 paid to Anyvision for working capital on the execution of the term sheet and $100,000 per month during the course of the transaction to Anyvision for working capital purposes for three months.

Voice biometrics

Voice biometrics anti-fraud firm Pindrop Security has raised $75 million in a Series C funding round, which it plans to use to expand internationally and increase its investments in research and new product development. Led by Google Capital, the round also included investors Google Ventures, Citi Ventures, and Felicis Ventures, as well as Andreessen Horowitz and Institutional Venture Partners, who led Series A and Series B rounds, respectively.

Aadhaar

Signaling India’s intention to find new use-cases around the Aadhaar authentication service, which is in accordance with Prime Minister Modi’s directive to expand the use of Aadhaar, the Indian government announced plans to widen the scope of the Aadhaar authentication system to allow validation of identification credentials for employment purposes. India’s Food and Civil Supplies Minister Girish Bapat also announced that the national government is planning on providing real-time online updates on ration card credits which will be linked to the Aadhaar authentication system. The minister argues that by linking the ration card system to Aadhaar, a greater level of security will can be achieved and that the system will be easier for the public service to manage.

Biometrics-as-a-service

According to a recent market research report, the biometrics-as-a-service market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of close to 13 percent until 2020. The market size has been projected by Technavio based on revenues generated from previous sales of biometrics-as-a-service, which includes cloud-based biometrics solutions and third-party managed solutions. In related news, Aware introduced a new whitepaper this week titled “Biometrics-as-a-Service: Making identity fraud prevention truly globally accessible”.

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About Stephen Mayhew

Stephen Mayhew is the publisher and co-founder of Biometrics Research Group, Inc.. His experience includes a mix of entrepreneurship, brand development and publishing. Stephen attended Carleton University and lives in Toronto, Canada. Connect with Stephen on LinkindIn.