ID4D initiatives and TSA trials top this week’s biometrics and digital ID news
For the second consecutive week, Nigeria and airport biometrics made headlines on Biometric Update, though for different reasons. Several of this week’s top biometrics stories involve airports and airlines continuing to quickly move forward with launches around the world, and the Transportation Security Administration ramping up its involvement in biometric passenger verification in the U.S. The developing world is embracing identification with new projects, while African countries led recognition of its importance with International ID Day celebrations.
The latest results in NIST’s ongoing FRVT are out, and have Yitu and VisionLabs on top in six of the of eight datasets in one of the week’s most frequently-read stories.
A host of new deployments of biometrics in the aviation industry have been announced or debated, including major roll-outs in Algiers and Pune, and the continuation of testing by the U.S. TSA. The new testing is happening at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, where Collins Aerospace’s SelfPass biometric solution is in use by one airline, with plans to extend its operation to 19 airlines eventually. We also took a more in-depth look at the TSA’s facial verification plans, in the context of the sophisticated disguises that have previously defeated commercial aviation identification systems, and which the deployment of biometrics is meant to prevent.
In related news, U.S. Senator Mark Warner is asking CBP and Suprema for details of their biometric data security measures following a pair of incidents. The expansion of the amount of data CBP collects for storage in its cloud database, and the integration of that database with other systems, meanwhile is examined in an informative article by Nextgov.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC or Congo-Kinshasa) is the latest country to announce a national biometric ID system.
In international development news, The Gates Foundation’s Goalkeepers Data Report suggests that biometrics is one of a trio of technologies that can empower people in developing nations and support more equitable resource distribution. Nigeria celebrated its first official Identity Day on September 16, as countries in Africa led the international community in recognizing the proposed International ID Day.
The Philippines and Thailand are also leveraging biometrics for revamped systems with Dermalog’s help.
Omidyar Network Investment Partner CV Madhukar writes for the World Economic Forum about his organization’s investments in privacy technology as a pathway to Good ID, and how that technology could improve the human outcomes of the data economy.
Fingerprint Cards and Idex Biometrics are both expecting the gradual shift away from the use of cash to buoy the market for fingerprint technology, specifically in biometric smart card applications. Payment cards are also among the top stories with Zwipe agreeing to supply its biometric technology to dz card to reach customers in Asia and Africa.
One of the top markets in the world for biometric payments in Singapore, and the Raconteur writes that the use of fingerprint scans in airports has led to widespread adoption of fingerprint recognition for payments, with a host of potential benefits.
Sports stadium and event access are another use case of facial recognition in the news this week, with details emerging about the system planned for use at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the World Cup of Soccer in Qatar, and a five-year anniversary of the technology at an arena in Hungary.
Trasmit Security CEO Mickey Boodaei wrote in a widely-read guest post that while biometrics are part of the passwordless future, they are not really secure enough. Acuity Principal Maxine Most is not buying it.
This week in facial recognition controversy, Morocco has taken the step of placing the technology’s regulation in the hands of its data protection authority, which is enacting a moratorium, while California has passed legislation to halt the use of the technology on police body cameras for three years.
Restrictions on facial recognition technology could have unintended consequences, however, as authorities turn to new biometrics modalities and other methods of surveillance. Problems related to being and seeming safe are the theme connecting what keeps biometrics industry stakeholders up at night, according to a video produced by the Biometrics Institute. The Institute’s CEO Isabelle Moeller also penned an editorial for the International Airport Review on the challenges of convincing the public to accept end-to-end biometrics in airports.
In contrast, an editorial in The National Law Review suggests that facial recognition is not new technology and compares EU data protection authorities to communist legislators in a cold-war era joke, aptly demonstrating for the biometrics industry how not to make the case for light-touch regulation. Fortinet Founder, President, and CTO Michael Xie writes less controversially for Forbes about the incredible potential benefits of facial recognition, and how they can be realized in the future.
Another area that will likely see increased legislative action soon is deepfakes, and the MIT Technology Review has an interview with deepfake artist Hao Li, who is concerned with the technology’s rapid development, particularly after the launch of the Zao face-swapping app.
Controversy surrounding China’s surveillance programs has drawn in renowned researcher Anil Jain, who has delivered keynote speeches at conferences in the country, and taught some of its talented biometrics researchers.
A tool called Digital Recognition Network (DRN), which is used by private investigators, repossession agents, and insurance companies to track any vehicle in the U.S. based on its license plate number is profiled in a piece by Vice Motherboard which suggests license plate recognition could be the next front in society’s ongoing privacy debates.
On the more benign side, the Canadian city of Calgary is considering a partnership with the University of Calgary to collect and analyze biometric data from wearables from volunteers to help with city planning, such as by identifying stressful travel routes.
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