Biometrics for financial services, facial recognition integrations and arguments top week’s digital ID stories

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Biometrics for financial services, facial recognition integrations and arguments top week’s digital ID stories

New bank deployments of biometrics and payment technologies, facial recognition in new integrations and continuing arguments, and applications-specific projects in Africa were among the week’s top biometrics and digital identity news. The biometrics industry seems to be marshaling its arguments against blanket bans and reactionary laws in an increasingly consistent manner, and liveness detection offers an answer to some data sensitivity concerns, but misconceptions persist.

Facial recognition from TensorMark has been integrated with smart glasses from Vuzix, in a technology leveraging 5G and edge computing, bringing biometrics and real-time notifications to the security market, and potentially to law enforcement. Vuzix has also previously integrated biometric technology from Sensory and NNTC.

Industry efforts to balance the wave of negative publicity generated for facial biometrics by Clearview AI also continued this week, with SIA testimony to a state legislative committee in New Jersey. Manager of Government Relations Drake Jamali talked about the different positive use cases for the technology, and encouraged further efforts to take stock of how it is used. Clearview’s international expansion, meanwhile, may be stalling out in Canada.

Meanwhile this week, a OneZero article calls NEC “a facial recognition company you’ve never heard of” while acknowledging its leadership in the space among police departments and other customer groups. The article considers why NEC and other leading biometrics companies have a lower profile than Silicon Valley tech giants and Clearview, but does not mention the possibility that it is because the industry’s leaders are clearer on how to properly conduct biometrics business. The characterization of NEC is puzzling anyway, as the parent company is currently number 470 on the global Fortune 500.

Veritone CEO Chad Steelberg writes in a Forbes Technology Council post on misconceptions commonly held about facial recognition. He identifies infringement on individual rights by all uses of facial recognition, the technology causing arrests of innocent people, and discriminating against people of color as common errors.

Mandatory biometrics registrations for specific purposes drove this week’s African identity to news near the top of Biometric Update’s most-read news list this week. SIM cards in Nigeria, civil servants and possibly healthcare workers in Zimbabwe require biometric registration, and Kenya is considering using biometric technology to reduce health insurance fraud.

Continued efforts by Mastercard to innovate in the identification and authentication space with biometrics include partnerships to consider heartbeat and vein recognition for public transport access according to a report this week. That adds to the payments company’s work on smart cards and digital identity among areas that involve biometrics.

Elsewhere in financial services-related news, FacePhi, Fingopay, Hitachi, ValidSoft and Ondato announced implementations with financial services partners, while regtech startup Signzy announced an award win. Biometrics continue to replace ever more logical access control systems for remote banking and retail payments. Interestingly, Mobey Forum suggests banks could be missing an opportunity to take a lead on digital identity in its latest report, which is covered in another of the week’s top stories. The report examines digital ID schemes from seven different countries, and warns that companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Alibaba could disrupt the global ID market.

The IBIA’s response to the NIST demographic differences in facial recognition report was also among our top stories this week. The group notes that facial recognition can now automate existing, otherwise manual processes with greater accuracy than is possible from human examiners, and argues that privacy advocates have used “semantically-loaded misleading arguments” in pursuing bans against the technology.

Shufti Pro Senior Business Developer Sarah Amundsson makes the case for liveness detection as a necessity for fraud detection in a widely-read guest post this week. The scale of the cyber-fraud problem and the use of presentation attack detection (PAD) algorithms to mitigate it are explained.

Coronavirus and other health fears highlight the potential value of contactless biometrics over contact-based technologies, Iris ID Vice President of Global Sales and Business Development Mohammed Murad writes in a guest post. Beyond that, Murad argues, iris recognition is more likely to work when masks are involved. Smart Engines CEO Vladimir V. Arlazarov, PhD, notes that several outbreaks of airborne illnesses have occurred in the last twenty years, and fear may spread even faster than disease, potentially interrupting the disruptive effect of facial recognition on several areas of business.

After bulldozing MWC 2020, covid-19 is affecting ISC West by keeping most smaller Chinese companies away, due to the U.S. government’s restrictions on travel from the country, as reported by SDM. Reed Exhibitions Vice President Will Wise says the situation is still evolving, and the company is working with companies and its Chinese office, but the China Pavillion will look different this year.

It looks ridiculous so far in the image in the New York Times, but a wearable technology in development jams any microphones in the vicinity, such as those of smart home devices, by broadcasting an ultrasonic signal. The researchers say they could manufacture it for about $20, and have had investors ask about commercializing it.

A subsidiary of German chemicals giant BASF has developed technology which could be used with facial recognition to perform a new kind of liveness detection based on skin-sensing. trinamiX has joined Qualcomm’s software accelerator to bring its beam profile analysis technology to market for OEMs.

Facial recognition from Alcatraz AI is being used for controlling access to the security center of an LA hospital, and a significant expansion is planned for the deployment in the first half of 2020. The technology has an enthusiastic supporter in Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital Director of Support Services Mark Reed.

The appeal of biometrics to IoT developers is examined in a DZone article, which suggests that cloud offerings could boost security and personalization for many smart devices. The security of IoT devices is a growing concern, but DZone is excited about hyper-personalized advertising and enhanced customer services.

Please let us know of any news, opinions, jokes or other content you want to share with people in the digital identity and biometrics communities in the comments below, social media or email.

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