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Unisys partners with Australian state to leverage biometrics for mDLs


The Australian state Queensland has announced a multi-year partnership between The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) and biometrics company Unisys, whose facial recognition technology will be integrated with government-issued smart card drivers’ licenses to prevent fraud, writes ZDNet.

The two entities have been working together since 2009, when 4.5 million drivers’ licenses were distributed.

Unisys’ Facial Signature Image Processing system leverages “Stealth(identity),” multi-biometric identity management and authentication software that automates biometric data collection and operates in both physical and digital channels, including mobile.

mDLs are a digital alternative to physical licenses or cards, already embraced by a number of US states for identity verification. In 2018, Biometric Update reported on the major opportunity mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs) serve for biometric technology providers. However, government and industry stakeholders needed to step up and get involved in planning and coordination.

Queensland is the first Australian state to institute biometrics-enabled licenses for identity verification when filing for a driver license, marine license, industry accreditation, or industry accreditation, ZDNet writes. The first to roll out the pilot project through a smartphone app are the Maryborough and Hervey Bay communities.

New South Wales and South Australians have also explored digital licenses, with the latter enabling access to this feature since 2017.

In January, at the CES Government conference in Las Vegas, Unisys Chairman and CEO Peter Altabef called for biometric adoption as part of US unified national cybersecurity approach.

mDLs may soon be widely adopted in the US following a new initiative launched by digital security industry association, The Secure Technology Alliance, aiming to educate the market on the technology and uses cases, the organization announced.

“The mDL market is developing rapidly – more than a dozen states are in varying stages of implementation,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Secure Technology Alliance. “There is an urgent need for businesses and services providers – from retailers and financial institutions to healthcare providers and other organizations – who rely on customers having trusted forms of identification to become educated on mDLs and evaluate how they could benefit from a strongly vetted, standards-based mobile ID.”

Brazilian identity solutions company Valid has also partnered with the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) to equip offices with its cameras and workflow software to cut down time spent at 26 of the busiest licensing offices, the company announced. Valid’s hardware and software solutions were adopted in Lynnwood, Seattle West, Seattle Downtown, Kent offices and 22 other offices.

Valid is providing biometric ID cards in Brazil, as part of an award-winning smart city initiative in the State of São Paulo.

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