Australia adds drivers’ license photos to national facial recognition system

Data from drivers’ licenses will be added to the Australian government’s biometric databases after it reached an agreement with state and territory governments, the New Daily reports. The $21 million AUD ($16.7 million) national facial recognition system is meant to combat terrorism and secure commercial services, but University of Wollongong IT and law professor Katina Michael warns that the system could associate innocent individuals with serious criminal investigations because of the way it is set up. “(W)hat you get returned

UIDAI announces plans to add facial recognition to Aadhaar

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has announced the addition of facial recognition to the Aadhaar program to provide more authentication options for users. Aadhaar has previously implemented fingerprint and iris recognition, along with one-time passwords (OTP) for identity verification. UIDAI notes in a circular (PDF) that it is difficult for some users to use fingerprints or iris scans, and that many Authentication User Agencies (AUAs) have not deployed both modalities. The enrollment process for Aadhaar has included the

UIDAI adds tokens, temporary IDs to enhance Aadhaar privacy

The Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) has announced changes to the Aadhaar system including a 16-digit Virtual ID (VID) numbers which users can generate to temporarily validate their identity without sharing their Aadhaar number, along with limits to KYC and UID tokens, all of which is intended to enhance the system’s privacy and security, The Indian Express reports. The collection of Aadhaar numbers by various agencies will also be reduced. The VID will be “mapped with” the user’s Aadhaar

Snowden blames Aadhaar for destroying privacy of Indians

Edward Snowden has weighed in on the privacy implications of the Aadhaar program and its biometric database ahead of court hearings into its legality, which are slated to begin on January 17. Snowden tweeted support for Rachna Khaira, the Tribune journalist under investigation after reporting that a massive database of personal information from the Aadhaar program was being sold over the internet for roughly $8. The journalists exposing the #Aadhaar breach deserve an award, not an investigation. If the government

Namibia makes the switch to biometric passports

In an effort to fulfill International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements, Namibia is now only issuing biometric passports, or ePassports, instead of the old machine-readable passports, according to the country’s Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration. “There have been attempts in the past to forge our passports but the current technology makes electronic passports secure,” said the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration’s director for immigration and border control, Nehemia Nghishekwa. The biometric passport is embedded with an electronic microprocessor

UIDAI denies reported major Aadhaar security breach

The Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) has responded to a media report claiming that access to the entire Aadhaar database could be purchased for 500 rupees (roughly $8) by saying that no biometric data has been breached, The Indian Express reports. The Chandigarh-based Tribune media outlet claimed not only that it had purchased unrestricted access to details for any of the more than one billion Indian citizens from an anonymous WhatsApp user, but also that for an even smaller

Ghana introduces instant issuance of eIDs

Ghana’s National Identification Authority (NIA) has begun the first nationwide instant issuance of eIDs in West Africa. The new “GhanaCard” meets all international requirements for identity documents, such as chip-embedded technology and biometric capabilities. Identity Management Systems is the prime contractor for the Ghana National ID project. Along with Entrust Datacard, the other subcontractors for the project include Intelligent Card Production Systems, X-Infotech, Dermalog, Cryptovision, Smart Packaging Solutions, NXP Semiconductors and IDFG. “Identity Management Systems designed a custom solution that

Israel’s biometric database allegedly managed illegally by subcontractor

Israel’s biometric database has allegedly been managed by a private contractor for more than two years, in violation of the rules for its maintenance established by the government when it was set up in 2011, Haaretz reports. A lawsuit in the National Labour Court filed in October by Meital Magid, an employee of digital security company Log-On, says Magid has been managing the database since September 2015, while the Interior Ministry looked for a long-term administrator. Magid filed the suit

Nigerian government biometrics programs yielding results, biometric ATMs coming

Senior Nigerian government officials praised the efforts of the National Immigration Service (NIS) in implementing the country’s biometric visa at a year-end awards ceremony, The Nation reports. Ministry of Interior Permanent Secretary Abubakar Magaji said Nigeria’s biometric visa program is the only one of its kind in Africa. “It started this year, but we have already launched it. I know the biometric visa is going to block many people that we don’t want to come to Nigeria,” Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau

DERMALOG ID checking software receives German government certification

DERMALOG has announced that its ePassport MRTDAPI electronic ID inspection software has been certified by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) according to the “TR-03105” guideline. The BSI confirms with the certification that the software functions reliably and complies with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ePassport MRTDAPI verifies the authenticity of data stored on chips in eID systems, such as fingerprints or portrait photos, and uses security mechanisms including Extended Access Control (EAC) to