Biometrics in security: protecting sensitive PII and the sanctity of user identity

This is a guest post by David D. Dunlap, Co-Founder and Senior VP of Corporate Planning, StoneLock Our personal identity is our single greatest asset – after all, how can one function in the world without an identity? However, the use of technology to assign identities warrants the need to balance out the requirements for security with the vital necessity of protecting individual privacy. The use of biometrics has been the subject of serious debate in the Security Industry for

Digital Rights Movement petitions against Israeli biometric database law

The Digital Rights Movement petitioned against the recently passed Biometric Database Law, declaring to the High Court of Justice that the law violates the privacy and security of citizens, according to a report by The Jerusalem Post. “From the moment the database went into effect, we all go on to the blacklist of potential suspects,” DRM lawyer Yonatan Klinger said. “The rule in our democracy until now has been very simple: if you did not break a law, you do

UK government’s position on facial biometrics database hit with liberal backlash

The UK government’s decision to allow police to store the facial biometric images of millions of innocent people on a massive database has drawn a number criticisms from UK civil liberties’ groups and the Liberal Democrats, according to a report by UK Authority. Independent biometrics commissioner Paul Wiles condemned the practice last week, stating that UK citizens are entitled to greater “independent oversight, transparency and assurance”. Wiles called on ministers to implement a ‘presumption of deletion’, which would make it

GenKey issues new release of its mobile enrollment software

GenKey has issued a new release of its mobile biometric enrollment software. According to a company statement, many of the improvements in the new release address the challenges of mobile registration in rural locations, including privacy-by-design software designed to store sensitive biometric information securely in the event of limited connectivity. The company has also improved the user experience, making the recruitment and training process easier in rural locations. The software runs on all mobile platforms and is compatible with all

Israeli court rules that employees cannot be forced to use biometric time clocks

The Israeli National Labor Court ruled that organizations cannot force their employees to use biometric time clocks at the office, according to a report by Lexology. The Court’s ruling revoked the regional labor court’s 2014 decision regarding a collective labor dispute against the Qalansawe municipality, which aimed to make it mandatory for its employees to use a biometric time clock system to monitor their work attendance. According to the court’s ruling, “forcing workers to hand over their fingerprints for biometric

U.S. legislators move to limit drone surveillance and facial recognition

Bicameral legislation was introduced last week to the U.S. houses of congress by Senator Edward J. Markey and Rep. Peter Welch to protect individual privacy from the growing number of government and commercial drones in use. The Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act (PDF) has been referred to the House Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure and Energy and Commerce. “What happens if there are drones that are gathering, through facial recognition, who is shopping on Main Street and selling that

FIDO Alliance paper details extending PKI security with authentication standards

The FIDO Alliance has released a new white paper in support of the U.S. Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity’s recommendations for all agencies to use strong authentication across all government systems. Titled “Leveraging FIDO Standards to Extend the PKI Security Model in United States Government Agencies,” the paper describes the use of FIDO solutions to improve cybersecurity within the government environment and act as a complement to traditional PKI. Developed by FIDO’s Public Policy and Privacy Working Group (P3WG), the

UK surveillance camera commissioner releases national strategy

UK surveillance camera commissioner Tony Porter has released a national strategy for how CCTV should be operated and to ensure that cameras are not infringing the public’s privacy. Porter, who is responsible for overseeing the UK’s governance of surveillance cameras, was advised by University of Stirling’s privacy expert Professor William Webster on the development of the strategy. Designed to help maintain the safety of UK citizens in public places and their privacy rights, the strategy promotes best practice in how

Google requests appeal of decision in biometric privacy lawsuit

Google has requested permission from U.S. District Court Judge Edmond Chang to immediately appeal his decision to allow a class-action lawsuit accusing Google of violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), to proceed, according to a report by Media Post. On February 27, Chang issued a ruling that allowed Illinois residents Lindabeth Rivera and Joseph Weiss to proceed with their lawsuit against Google for using facial recognition to create face templates from photographs. Rivera initially filed a lawsuit against

ID4Africa endorses ID principles for sustainable development

ID4Africa recently announced that it has officially endorsed 10 principles on identification that were developed by a consortium of international identity stakeholders led by the World Bank and the Center For Global Development. The 10 principles outline the benefits of identity systems and describes how stakeholders, including governments and other international agencies, can protect against their risks. The principles focus on three concepts: inclusion, design and governance. The organizations endorsing the 10 principles recognize the potential of strengthened identification systems