The need for dialogue: biometrics are good

This is a guest post by David Menzies, a writer and public relations consultant at Innovative Public Relations. The fact that biometrics – specifically fingerprints and facial recognition – were a large part of quickly identifying and helping to capture the New York City terror bomber, 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami, likely does not surprise anyone involved in this particular market sector. A fingerprint on a pressure cooker, combined with video surveillance footage started the wheels turning and the rest, as

Biometrics Institute concerned about French bill restricting the use of biometric technologies

The Biometrics Institute has informed the French Senate and National Assembly of its concerns regarding proposed amendments to the 1978 Data Protection Act which would limit the use of biometric technologies. The Institute`s submission raises concern regarding the broader impacts of restricting the use of biometric technologies, including impeding the development of French and European technologies, especially in the biometrics area. The submission also highlights uses of biometric technologies that are legitimate, responsible and provide economic and societal benefits. In

NIST workshop discusses new approaches to improving tattoo recognition

An international group of experts from industry, academia and government participated in National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Tattoo Recognition Technology Challenge Workshop in which it discussed challenges and potential ways of automating tattoo recognition to help law enforcement identify criminals and victims. The move comes a few months after the National Institute of Standards and Technology invited all interested commercial and academic organizations to participate in advancing research and development of automated image-based tattoo matching technology. After being

Secret police bill passes in Canada

Last week, Canada’s anti-terror bill was passed by Parliament with bipartisan Conservative and Liberal support. Bill C-51 was originally introduced at the end of January to extend Canada’s anti-terror laws. The legislation was reputedly designed by the Conservative government to protect Canadians from jihadist terrorists, but also grants greater powers to police authorities to target activities that could “undermine the security of Canada” as well as activities that the government deems detrimental to Canada’s interests. The main provisions of Canada’s

U.S. Army testing Lockheed Martin software for battlefield intelligence enterprise

The U.S. Army’s primary intelligence system is currently testing software developed by Lockheed Martin that will help them sift through terabytes of intelligence taken from manned and unmanned sources, improving their ability to efficiently analyze data. As part of its ongoing test and evaluation process that includes various stages of technology reviews, practical application evaluations and operational user tests, the Army has partnered with Lockheed Martin to update the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS-A). The service will begin fielding in

Collection of voiceprint data has privacy advocates concerned

Businesses and governments are increasingly implementing voice biometrics as an authentication tool, and while it can potentially be a means of identification and replace passwords, the massive stores of voiceprints have some privacy advocates worried. According to Associated Press research, at least 65 million voiceprints are stored in corporate and government databases around the world. For instance, the Internal Revenue Department of New Zealand, a country of less than 4.5 million people has a million voiceprints catalogued. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase,

Guidelines for UK police chiefs on applications to retain & use biometric material

The UK’s National DNA Database Strategy Board has published guidelines for chief police officers when deciding whether to make an application to the biometrics commissioner for the retention and use of biometric material. Falling under section 63G of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, the guidelines are intended to protect the rights of innocent UK citizens arrested in the course of an investigation, particularly in relation to their DNA profiles or fingerprints. According to the eight-page “Applications to the

Top biometrics news stories, week ending September 21

Here’s a recap of most popular and noteworthy biometrics industry news that appeared on this past week. Biometrics Week in Review: spoofing finger vein recognition, biometric passports for Haiti, biometric database of HIV patients, voice biometric banking app, FBI’s NGI database, Fujitsu deal with Biyo, MasterCard biometrics pilot, Alipay select Nok Nok, Suprema access control, VoiceTrust share exchange, new funding. Tabula Rasa video demonstrates spoofing in a commercial finger vein recognition device – The video shows how enrollment of

More than 30,000 Australians registered voiceprints with ATO in biometric authentication rollout

The Australian Taxation Office announced that it has recorded more than 30,000 “voiceprints” from Australian citizens since the agency rolled out its new biometric authentication system, according to a report by ZDNet. Using voice recognition technology, the ATO‘s voiceprint system generates a digital representation of the sound, rhythm, physical characteristics, and patterns in a person’s voice. The ATO said that the new system is designed to curb identity theft as well as replace the previous password and answer based verification

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