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 BiometricUpdate.com this past week. Apple rumoured to launch iWallet app using fingerprint sensors to make

$500 billion spent on intelligence, according to U.S. “black budget”

The United States has spent more than US$500 billion on intelligence since 9/11, an outlay that U.S. officials say has succeeded in its main objective, preventing another catastrophic terrorist attack. This fiscal information, published in intelligent estimates colloquially known as the “black budget”, was revealed for the first time nearly a year ago, through whistle-blower disclosures made by Edward Snowden, which were published by the Washington Post. According to the “black budget”, the United States spent US$80 billion on spy

Biometric exit system spawns U.S. immigration debate

Many Americans think the U.S. immigration system is urgently in need of reform. A Gallup poll conducted in January 2013 found that only 36 percent of Americans were satisfied with the current immigration situation in the United States. The political response has focused on securing the border through heavy enforcement.  As a result, more than 20,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents operate along the borders, which is the highest number deployed in U.S. history and twice the level of a decade

Canadian academics, privacy groups issue statement against mass spying

In Canada this week, a number of academics have become signatories to a statement calling upon governments to reign in mass surveillance in Canada. Known as the Ottawa Statement, the document acknowledges that Canada is now “entering an age of Big Data and ubiquitous surveillance” and that “governments and private corporations routinely collect and sort massive amounts of personal data for multiple reasons from national security to marketing”. Over 35 leading scholars and 19 organizations have signed on in support.The

Indian election to impact Aadhaar

The historic win of India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recent national election might result in changes to Aadhaar, the world’s biggest biometrics bank. The Aadhaar program, governed by the Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI), aims to enroll all of the country’s residents through biometrics, in order to distribute 12-digit identity cards for access to social programs. So far, the program has combined enrollment of approximately 850 million people, with 630 million Aadhaar numbers generated. The

U.S. continues to spy on ordinary citizens

During a recent trip to Europe, President Obama said that the U.S. intelligence community was not snooping on “ordinary citizens,” despite many indications to the contrary. “I am confident that everybody in our intelligence agencies operates with the best of intentions and is not snooping into the privacy of ordinary Dutch, German, French or American citizens,” Obama told reporters during a multilateral summit in The Hague. Obama said that due to spy revelations made by the former, renegade intelligence contractor