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Biometrics in border security, fingerprints and fast food, facial recognition top this weeks news


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


By far the most popular article this week had to do with McDonald’s restaurants taking a more proactive approach to its loss prevention efforts by piloting new biometric authentication technology on its point-of-sale (POS) system. The fast food franchise has installed, at select restaurants in the United States, a fingerprint device on cash registers which require a fingerprint scan to activate the system and is also considering implementing a biometric-based time and attendance system to combat buddy punching and other attendance-related fraud.

Payment technology

The House Energy & Commerce Committee held a hearing last week to preliminary review disruptive technologies in the mobile payments space and the main takeaway was that while most mobile payments options offer stronger user authentication and convenience, they fail to provide the same legal and legislative protections as other payment methods. PayPal, Samsung Pay and the Merchant Customer Exchange each gave testimony at the hearing.

Mobey Forum has published a new whitepaper entitled “Biometrics in Payments: Touching Convenience”, which focuses on the applicability of biometrics as a method of identification, authentication and authorization for services in mobile banking and payments services. In the paper, Mobey Forum states that the acceleration of mobile in the banking sector depends on the further advancement of biometrics.

Border security

This week, Morpho launched MorphoRapID 2, a handheld device that is equipped with a fingerprint sensor certified FAP 30 by the FBI and a high resolution camera and multiple credential readers. MorphoRapID 2 is fully integrated into the Morpho Criminal Justice Suite and handles multiple searches simultaneously and also enables on-device identification by matching a person’s fingerprints against those previously stored in local watch lists in the device’s memory. MorphoRapID 2 also verifies ID documents.
The Obama administration has made some key changes to the visa waiver program, including more effective tracking of past travel, fines for any airlines that fail to verify passport information, and helping other countries screen refugees and offer border security. The administration has also identified potential pilot programs designed to assess the collection and use of biometrics in the visa program to effectively increase security.

The Customs and Border Protection is currently piloting a biometric exit screening program at Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport to better monitor foreign visitors, and in the process, has already managed to catch two criminal defendants attempting to flee the country. The CBP is operating the $5.4 million biometric exit pilot at ten U.S. airports, in which officers situated at the international boarding gates scan non-citizens’ fingerprints and travel documents.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is looking for volunteers for a pilot project to test a range of biometric technology to allow frequent travelers to pass the Schengen security check without having to display their Privium Card. The series of pilots begin in mid-January, giving volunteers an opportunity to test and experience the speed and reliability of new facial, finger and iris recognition methods.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has posted an official notice that it will soon conduct a test to collect biometric information at the Otay Mesa, California land border port-of-entry from certain aliens entering and departing the United States. The notice states that the pilot program will begin no earlier than December 7, 2015 and will end on or before June 30, 2016.

New Zealand customs agency rolled out nine new SmartGates at Auckland International Airport for departing passengers. The nine new eGates, which use facial recognition technology and information in electronic passports, add to the four previous eGates already in operation at the airport, which have since been relocated to the arrival gates. Meanwhile, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that Australia has expanded its use of SmartGates to U.S. Citizens with ePassports.

Securiport has been honored for the best biometric identification system for border security at the 2015 Homeland Security Awards, held by Government Security News Magazine. Securiport’s multimodal biometric recognition system incorporates a combination of fingerprint, iris, and face recognition analyses to recognize and identify people connected to possible security threats, including links to global watch lists and security databases such as Interpol.

Facial recogniton

Michigan State University is licensing its large-scale face-search technology to NEC, which can help law enforcement agencies in combating crime. The automatic face-search system was developed by biometrics expert Anil Jain, MSU Distinguished Professor of computer science and engineering; Dayong Wang, an MSU postdoctoral fellow; and Charles Otto, an MSU Ph.D. student.

Some retail stores in Missouri are using a solution supplied by Blue Line Technology to prevent shoplifting and workplace violence. Blue Line provides facial recognition software to help police and businesses track potential threats and alert store managers regarding the presence of known criminals, provide notice of trespassers and help with fraud prevention.

San Diego police agencies are doubling up on the use of facial recognition to identify suspects in the field and with more than twice as many cameras deployed as last year, privacy advocates are concerned. Records show taxpayers have paid more than $540,000 to fund the technology in San Diego County since the program’s inception.

Data storage

In this guest post, Don Waugh, Co-CEO of Applied Recognition, looks at the risk of centralized storage for biometric data and argues that anyone looking to use biometrics to improve security and privacy should veer away from centralized collection and storage of biometric data.

Big data

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) uses MapR products to build, manage and maintain India’s citizen registry and with Aadhaar projected to be more integral to social service delivery, its stability and scalability is key. MapR-DB ensures that the world’s largest biometric database is able to effectively leverage Big Data architecture.

Research vendors

Industry analysts Technavio, QY Research, Frost & Sullivan and System Consulting have each recently published reports exploring various areas of the biometrics industry, including the global biometrics market in the hospitality sector, China’s biometrics monitoring systems, biometrics in law enforcement, and the capacitive fingerprint sensors market.

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