California bill would set security standards for protecting biometric data

A California politician has resurrected a one-year-old bill to set a standard for businesses to protect private consumer data, including biometric and geolocation data, according to a report by Bloomberg Law. In the last two weeks of the legislative session, assemblyman Mike Gatto (D) updated A.B. 83, in an effort to set new standards for businesses to practice reasonable security procedures and practices if they retain personal information. Made public on August 20 just days before the session’s August 31

Federal Court in Illinois dismisses biometric data privacy case against Smarte Carte

A federal district court in Illinois recently dismissed a biometric data privacy case against Smarte Carte, based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling of a similar case, according to a report by IllinoisPolicy.org. The plaintiff alleged that Smarte Carte’s use of fingerprint-keyed lockers at Chicago’s Union Station was in violation of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The court’s decision for dismissal was based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 16th ruling in the Spokeo v. Robins case. The decision

RCMP actively seeking facial and tattoo recognition system without approval

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has been actively seeking to obtain a new nationwide Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) that could analyze and capture faces, fingerprints, palm prints, tattoos, scars, and irises—all without being approved by the country’s federal privacy watchdog, or a plan in place to implement it, according to a report by Motherboard. Unlike the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s AFIS, the RCMP’ current national fingerprint database does not allow officers to scan and search people’s faces

Report reveals police body camera programs fail to protect civil rights and privacy

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and Upturn have released a scorecard evaluating the civil rights security measures of police body-worn camera programs in 50 U.S. cities, which reveals a nationwide failure to protect the civil rights and privacy of surveilled communities. This latest edition, which follows up on the November 2015 scorecard evaluating 25 programs, updates the policies of those original police departments that have amended their policies. It also includes 25 additional programs, including the nation’s

Lawsuit filed against Snapchat for using biometric data without consent

Two men filed a class-action lawsuit against Snapchat under a 2008 Illinois state law that requires a company to obtain written consent before using an individual’s biometric data, according to a report by Inc. Initially filed by plaintiffs Jose Luis Martinez and Malcolm Neal in Los Angeles County court in May, the case has recently been moved to U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. According to the lawsuit, Snapchat has been unlawfully gathering, storing, and using biometric

POMM rolls out biometric authentication and data encryption cell phone case

POMM Inc. has introduced a new biometric authentication and data encryption cell phone case to keep data files private and secure. According to the company crowdfunding page, the POMM device is a unique hardware case that bypasses cloud based systems, providing a security and privacy platform designed to protect the data in mobile devices. It ensures data security, privacy and bio-authentication, all combined to prevent unauthorized access and use of the mobile user’s private data and personal, sensitive information. The

Israel enforcing mandatory biometric database enrollment for citizens in 2017

Israeli Interior Minister Arye Dery announced that it will be mandatory for citizens to enroll in the national biometric database starting in 2017, according to a report by Haaretz The government launched the biometric database’s pilot phase in July 2013, which was supposed to conclude after two years. However, the pilot has since been extended twice — the most recent of which occurred in March, which will see the pilot go through to the end of 2016. “From now on

Organizations respond to FBI’s call to exempt biometric ID database from privacy laws

Forty-six privacy, civil liberties, and immigrants’ rights organizations sent a letter to a group of senators and congressmen, urging their committees to hold oversight hearings to assess the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Next Generation Identification program and their use of biometric data. The letter also called on the committees to require the FBI’s compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974 and enforce ongoing public reports on the FBI’s use, collection, retention, and disclosure of biometric information. Addressed to Senators

BioConnect providing Multi-Health Systems with integrated authentication platform

BioConnect will be providing Multi-Health Systems Inc. (MHS) with an integrated authentication platform, using mobile biometric technology, to ensure MHS’ critical applications, IT infrastructure and physical access control are more secure. MHS is a technology company focused on innovative digital delivery of data analysis and scientifically validated assessments for more than 30 years. MHS serves clients in corporate, clinical, educational, public safety, government, military, pharmaceutical, and research settings. Responsible for storing and securing sensitive personal health information (PHI), this partnership

NTIA finalizes commercial facial recognition code of conduct

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) finalized its privacy guidelines for the commercial use of facial recognition last week. Facial recognition potentially impacts a range of industry participants, including: developers of facial recognition software; retailers that employ recognition-enabled camera systems; providers of online services; and game console developers, among others. Over the past two years, stakeholders involved in the guideline development process discussed how to ensure that consumers’ rights to control, transparency, security, access and accuracy are respected. The