Biometric passports, digital ID initiatives in Africa and contactless tech top this week’s biometrics news

Categories Biometrics News  |  Trade Notes
Biometric passports, digital ID initiatives in Africa and contactless tech top this week’s biometrics news

The spread of biometrics systems in Africa in the public and private sector, in particular in Nigeria, topped the stories read by the most Biometric Update visitors for this week. Initiatives for national ID systems, detecting payroll fraud, ensuring student election integrity and secure retail payments in the country were matched by initiatives for mobile services, elections, and mobile banking in other countries on the continent. Airport identity systems were also prominent in industry news, and our series of feature articles providing a deep-dive into pressing issues for the biometrics ecosystem continues with a look at facial recognition policy, with a focus on possible U.S. regulations.

Nigerians have exorcised more than 17,000 ghost workers from the payroll of a single state with biometric registration and used similar technology for a student election, and can provide biometrics-backed NINs to its entire population given at most five years and another $2 billion. The troubles of Tanzania’s SIM registration and resistance to Ghana’s new electoral registration exemplify ongoing delays in implementation of digital ID projects in Africa, however. A separate story on two banks in Nigeria and South Africa launching facial recognition-based services, the former for card-less retail payments and the latter for mobile app authentication, also cracked the top ten Biometric Update articles of the week.

Remark Holdings has integrated contactless fever detection with its facial recognition product and Telpo has integrated its fever detection and face biometrics terminals with payment technologies for public transportation deployments as the coronavirus outbreak draws the world’s attention.

The national digital ID system of Singapore is adding facial recognition authentication service to kiosks at banks and government agency offices to do away with passwords for services. The government is also working on opening up its SingPass Mobile app, adding facial recognition for elderly and overseas Singaporeans who may need the service but not be able to get to the kiosks.

Lenovo Global Communications Manager Andy Barron tells part of the story of the creation of the FIDO Alliance and the specifications it creates in a blog post on the expected growth of passwordless authentication spurred by Microsoft’s adoption of them for Windows 10 last year.

In a busy week for travel biometrics, the ICAO published a Master List of digital certificates to help border authorities authenticate biometric passports, as well as to begin the process of extending the documents to “non-state non-commercial” applications, which might be part of seamless travel systems. The TSA, meanwhile, is rolling out a new portable document checker to airports across the country which verify the validity of photo credentials and provide flight information. The agency also announced that PreCheck has passed the 10 million-member milestone.

AirAsia is using biometrics and big data to transform its brand by offering customers new experiences, but as Ozy reports, its digital transformation efforts led by new CEO Aireen Omar are also drawing scrutiny. The company is running separate pilots of iris biometrics and the Fast Airport Clearance Experience System (FACES), developed by a partner, to clear travelers.

Two sets of guidelines for using biometrics and other AI systems were released this week by influential groups. The Pentagon’s five principles and the Rome Call for AI Ethics, from a Vatican-hosted group that also includes Microsoft, IBM and others, have a lot in common, starting with requirements for systems to be responsible and reliable.

One use of AI introduced by startup DoNotPay is automated data deletion demands, Fortune reports. The company’s Digital Health “robot lawyer” contacts more than 100 data brokers and informs them that an individual protected by CCPA is formally requesting their facial recognition, location, account or other data be expunged.

Contactless biometrics from Idemia have been successfully trialed at Japan’s Level5 stadium for a soccer league final. The company hopes to roll out its MorphoWave Compact scanners across the facility in collaboration with its partner Japan Aerospace Corporation.

Efforts by biometric technology providers and other stakeholders to steer policy-makers towards effective rules for facial recognition are examined in an in-depth feature article, through conversations with NEC, FaceFirst, IBIA, Identity Strategy Partners, and DHS representatives. As the issue bubbles to the surface, providing the information necessary to support legislation that allows government agencies and businesses to use facial recognition without degrading privacy and civil rights is becoming a priority for all involved. Thanks to those who shared their insights.

The implications of GDPR for facial recognition are examined by REaD Group Data Quality and Governance Manager Andy Bridges in a piece for Digital Marketing Magazine. Bridges argues the central issue is consent, and noting that the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office is planning to introduce new regulation within the next year, he urges businesses to perform Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) and determine the lawful basis for biometrics use proactively. Yoti CEO and Co-founder Robin Tombs tells CalvinAyre.com how face biometrics-backed digital identity technology can make it easier to have transparency, privacy, and compliance in online transactions in an interview from ICE London.

Our interview with Idex CTO Anthony Eaton on the impact the company’s new biometric-system-on-chip is expected to have on the fingerprint smart card market held on to its spot among the most-read news of the week.

Idex SVP David Orme describes the automatic personalization potential of smart cities, and the foundational role biometrics can play in the chain of trust that they will require, in an editorial for TechNative.

Please let us know of any articles, blogs, videos or editorials you would like to share with the broader digital ID and biometrics communities in the comments below, or the channel of your choice.

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