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Biometrics on the move, facial recognition, biometric payment options, fraud prevention & more top news


Here’s a recap of the most popular biometrics industry news that appeared on BiometricUpdate.com this past week.

Universal ID management report

Accenture and the World Bank released a report to help developing nations create universal ID management system, which notes that over 1.8 billion adults in developing countries currently lack an official ID and therefore have no access to essential services.

Voice authentication for retailers

In a special guest post, Enacomm founder and CEO Michael Boukadakis emphasized the importance of American retailers implementing voice authentication technologies to combat fraud, identity theft and security breaches.

School buses with iris recognition

And in a rather intriguing application of iris recognition technology, Antelope Valley Schools Transportation Agency is conducting a pilot program in which it is testing an iris reader recognition solution on its special needs buses that alerts the bus driver if a child passenger is about to get on or off at the wrong bus stop.

Facial recognition

This week saw a milestone in facial recognition technology as Orlando International Airport became the first US airport to add facial recognition to its automated passport control (APC) kiosks, supplied by air transport IT solutions provider SITA.

In a more controversial application of facial recognition, the Leicestershire Police’s ethics committee is reviewing its use of facial recognition technology at the Download music festival in June, to look for known thieves among attendees.

Also in facial recognition news, a team of researchers have determined that trained forensic examiners are much more accurate identifying faces than non-experts and computers, providing the scientific basis for forensic practices, and pointing to possible methods of improving automated facial recognition systems.


Two fingerprint-related stories topped headlines this week. The first came in the form of a Synaptics announcement, which detailed Lenovo’s integration of Synaptics’ Natural ID area touch fingerprint sensor, FS4202, into its new smartphone, the Vibe P1.

Next, Fingerprint Cards (FPC) and Precise Biometrics have partnered to integrate their respective fingerprint recognition technologies integrated into two of Google’s two Nexus smartphones.

Border security

In recent months, the U.S. Customs and Borders Protection has been making significant progress in integrating biometrics at the border. First, Custom and Border Protection’s Entry/Exit Transformation (EXT) Office are piloting several programs to make the process of collecting biometric data from foreign traveler entering and leaving the United States less invasive.

Clear announced that it is expanding its expedited traveler service to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, providing fingerprint recognition and iris reader technology to enable a faster and more seamless experience for members of the Clear Fast Access program.

And looking North, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has refuted claims by media that its new system, which produces passports, is vulnerable to security risks.

Law enforcement and intelligence

Boeing and HRL Laboratories, a software firm jointly owned by Boeing and General Motors, are partnering to develop a biometrics integrated “brain chip” for its self-destructing Black smartphone that could be embedded into any device.

And in a move that is sure to raise some privacy concerns, the FBI has expanded its biometrics programs with two major developments that will reportedly impact Americans on a day to day level more than any other biometrics initiative the national law enforcement agency has previously implemented, according to a report by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

Biometric payment solutions

In the first of two stories involving biometrics enabled payment service, Visa Inc. recently held a two-day Team Visa Summit and innovation showcase at its San Francisco headquarters where some Olympic and Paralympic athletes were given a preview of Visa’s future payment technology applications including biometric payment options and wearables.

And finally, Samsung Pay has officially gone live in the U.S., following its launch this past summer in South Korea where it brought in over $30 million in transaction volume during its first month.

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