India’s privacy court decision to affect government databases

The “right to privacy” reference question now before India’s Supreme Court will have major implications concerning the cross-linking of Aadhaar and ancillary biometric registries to other government databases. Petitioners recently asked the court to protect constitutional rights to privacy. The government, on the other hand, is seeking to declare that a “right to privacy” does not formally exist. If the court ultimately determines that the right is not existent, then the national government will legally be able to use Aadhaar

Microsoft aims to kill the password

According to a recent CNN Money report, Microsoft has an ambitious goal for Windows 10: The software vendor projects that it can install its new Windows 10 operating system into 1 billion devices by 2017. A recent study of IT professionals found that nearly three-quarters of businesses plan on installing Windows 10 within two years of its July 2015 release. The report states 60 percent of IT departments have tested the new Microsoft operating system, and 40 percent plan to

Nigerian election successful despite biometric voting hiccups

Last week’s presidential election in Nigeria represented the first peaceful, fully democratic transition of power and has been labelled the “cleanest vote ever” in the country’s post-colonial history. Opposition candidate Major-General Muhammadu Buhari won the presidential election by more than 2.5 million votes, in the most expensive election ever to be held on the African continent, costing more than US$200 million. Buhari is a former military ruler of Nigeria who was deposed in a coup in the mid-1980. He is

Suspicious government to fingerprint employees, spy on citizens

As the Harper government nears nine years in power, it continues to demonstrate that it has no trust for its employees and Canadian citizens in general. This week, Canada’s Treasury Board Secretariat, which is responsible for the federal civil service, confirmed that the government’s new standard on security screening, that came into effect last October, includes fingerprinting employees, along with mandatory credit checks. As of 2014, it was estimated that there were 257,138 federal civil servants in Canada. Public sector

New privacy regulations in Abu Dhabi might protect biometric data

High-finance is driving new employee privacy regulations in Abu Dhabi’s new economic “free zone”, which purportedly would protect sensitive data, such as biometrics. The UAE emirate intends to establish a free zone for financial services on Al Maryah Island and envisions employee privacy as a major component of its efforts. The free zone, will be directed under the jurisdiction of Abu Dhabi Global Market. It aims to direct more foreign direct investment and foreign businesses into the emirate. Companies in

Biometric tech usage protocols should be evaluated during Ebola airport screenings

Due to the dangers that the Ebola epidemic represents to the United States, health protocols focused on airport screening should consider when biometric technologies should be employed at airports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs & Border Protection (CBP) this week began new layers of entry screening at five U.S. airports that receive over 94 percent of travelers from the Ebola-affected nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. CDC has sent

Secrecy surrounds government surveillance programs

Lack of accountability is usually a common theme when it comes to camera surveillance, so San Diego’s public disclosure of its city surveillance program is atypical. In 2011, the city launched a program entitled “Operation Secure San Diego” that sought the participation of private retail merchants in a police CCTV scheme. The city’s police department believes that the use of private store camera systems could help support public safety efforts. Under the initiative, the San Diego Police Department obtained access

Biometrics could prevent ‘celeb porn’ hacking incidents

Biometrics could be the ideal tool to protect private consumer data in the cloud. In the wake of an iCloud security flaw that allowed the theft of nude photos last weekend of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst and several other female actresses and musicians, Apple should consider integrating biometric authentication into its next iteration of iCloud security. Authentication is the process of validating users, ensuring that they are who they say they are. Solutions range from traditional alphanumeric username

Boston spied, used facial recognition on concertgoers

Recent news reports claim that the City of Boston tested an IBM video mass surveillance system at the Boston Calling Music Festival last year. According to a local blog, Dig Boston, a new, sophisticated event monitoring platform was deployed and evaluated which gave authorities “a live and detailed birdseye view of concertgoers, pedestrians and vehicles in the vicinity” of the event. Using IBM’s Smarter Cities solution, the City of Boston leveraged its existing camera infrastructure to monitor everyone who attended

Top biometrics news stories, week of August 3

Biometrics Week in Review: iWallet app using fingerprint sensors, facial recognition at Brussels Airport, Nigerian banks collecting biometrics, next killer app for biometrics, Latin America market, fingerprint authentication for POS, Brits opt for biometrics, voice biometric solution for farmers and a guest post by Chuck Brooks on biometrics research at DHS. Here’s a recap of most popular and noteworthy biometrics news stories that appeared on this past week. Apple rumoured to launch iWallet app using fingerprint sensors to make