Pupils and irises: A closer look at biometric technologies in schools

Biometric technology is making its presence known in a number of different sectors, and schools have proven to be a particularly controversial avenue of this recent expansion. Parents concerned for the privacy of their children, uncertain or unclear procurements, legislative pressures and issues surrounding decision-making are just a few of the issues dominating this discussion as of late. Though applications vary, biometric systems have been used in schools to record attendance, enable library book borrowing, pay for lunch and to

Fingerprinting to be Mandatory for Expat Women in Saudi Arabia

The General Directorate of Passports has introduced a new rule that makes fingerprinting a mandatory practice for the issuance of new residence permit and final exit for all expatriate women, according to a report by the Saudi Gazette. Before the new system, providing biometric data was only mandatory for expatriate women seeking to obtain a work permit, and simply an option for all other women (as of March 31, 2012). Saudi Arabian director general of passports Major General Suleiman Al-Yahya

Digital Identities and Authentication Seminar 2014

Exploring safe digital identification in an online world 4 June 2014 Wellington, New Zealand The Biometrics Institute is known for its long track record in successfully facilitating discussion around the use of biometrics in a stimulating and independent forum. This seminar reflects a growing demand for discussion around online authentication, mobile transactions and privacy. The 2013 Biometrics Institute Industry Survey reported that smartphones/mobile devices were given the highest mention in terms of future biometric use. Coupled with a significant number

What Are Biometrics?

“Biometrics are our most unique physical (and behavioral) features that can be practically sensed by devices and interpreted by computers so that they may be used as proxies of our physical selves in the digital realm. In this way we can bond digital data to our identity with permanency, consistency, and unambiguity, and retrieve that data using computers in a rapid and automated fashion.” Contents: – Identity and Trust – Biometric Modalities – Biometric Processes – Biometric System Accuracy Testing

NTIA launches new privacy process for commercial facial recognition

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has announced a new privacy multi-stakeholder process regarding the commercial use of facial recognition technology. The first meeting regarding this new process will be held of February 6, 2014, and subsequent meetings will be held throughout the year. According to the administration, the goal of the new process is to develop a voluntary, enforceable code of conduct that specifies how the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights applies to facial recognition technology. Stakeholders will discuss how

Microsoft says facial recognition not retained, transmitted by Xbox One

As a part of a detailed disclosure on privacy, Microsoft has announced that the Xbox One will not retain the facial data of its users. It has been long reported that through a built in Kinect camera, the Xbox One will employ facial recognition. This news has been of concern to many prospective buyers for the anticipated platform launch, especially amid other reports that Microsoft has supplied personal information of its users to the NSA. Reported in CVG, the company

Franken asking right questions about smartphone biometrics

Good legislators should provide insight and argue for greater oversight concerning technologies which have the capacity to be intrusive and erode our sense of privacy.  This is why Al Franken should be commended. Recently, the U.S. Senator from Minnesota raised privacy concerns about the inclusion of fingerprint reader technology into Apple’s newest iPhones.  Apple now uses biometrics to lock and unlock its newest generation of mobile phones and has developed patents that will allow its customers to complete e-commerce transactions

Facebook discloses government data requests

In a bid to be more transparent, Facebook has begun to publish the number of requests it receives from governments for user information. The social network revealed this week that governments around the world requested data on approximately 38,000 Facebook users in the first six months of 2013.  According to Facebook, governments made these requests during the course of official investigations. The vast majority of the requests, according to the social network, related to criminal cases, such as robberies and kidnappings.  In

Facebook mulls facial recognition for profile pictures

Facebook says it’s considering incorporating user profile pictures into its growing facial recognition database, the company revealed in an update to its data use policy on Thursday. Reported in Reuters, the technology currently identifies faces to offer “tag suggestions” in newly uploaded photos by comparing them to previously uploaded pictures in which users were tagged, but the new system would automatically add public profile pictures to its recognition database. According to Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer, quoted in the Reuters report,

Disclosures show crowd-scanning facial recognition system tested by U.S.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security tested a crowd-scanning facial recognition system last year, called the Biometric Optical Surveillance System (BOSS), following two years of government-funded development, newly disclosed documents show. The documents were first obtained by privacy advocate Ginger McCall under a Freedom of Information Act request, who then provided them to the New York Times. According to the New York Times report, the $5.2 million contract for the system was awarded to Electronic Warfare Associates, an American military contractor, which