Biometrics and liveness detection for digital onboarding and remote banking top this week’s news
Digital onboarding and remote transactions, and the biometrics and liveness detection that enable them, make up many of the top stories in the identification industry this week. Facial recognition is powering mobile apps for financial and government services, and voice biometrics are blocking millions in attempted fraud, just as pandemic concerns are motivating ever more interaction through mobile devices. A forecast that the market for digital identity solutions will reach $30 billion by 2024 may need to be adjusted upwards.
In one of the largest implementations of facial recognition for enterprise security in the U.S., if not the biggest, Intel is adopting the biometric technology to identify “high risk individuals” at its offices around the country. The technology is being supplied by a pair of leading facial recognition companies, according to the report.
A Canadian bank has launched a mobile app with ID document verification, and announced intentions to add facial biometrics to it in the future, and a digital identity app with facial recognition, supported by a government grant, is now available to residents of one province.
Adoption of biometrics and remote digital onboarding is an opportunity for banks to catch up with a way of doing business that has already become part of “business as usual,” writes ID R&D VP of Marketing Kim Martin in a Biometric Update guest post. Holdouts are discovering that digital onboarding with liveness detection is a necessity when people cannot visit branches to open accounts due to a public health crisis. On a similar note, HID Global’s Olivier Thirion de Briel, global solution marketing director for financial services, tells The Paypers in an interview from its Digital Onboarding and KYC Report 2020 about banks’ need to take a holistic approach to digital identity, including the use of biometric identity verification and liveness, for onboarding and mobile services.
Voice biometrics blocked nearly $500 million in fraud attempts in 2019 for HSBC UK, the institution says. The banking giant partnered with Nuance to introduce its VoiceID back in 2016, and it has since become increasingly important, with fraud attempts doubling from 2018 to 2019.
Successes like this in several different areas of the biometrics and digital ID market are driving impressive growth, and analysts are calling for more, with a MarketsandMarkets report forecasting revenues from digital identity solutions of more than $30 billion in 2024. Wearables, smart city AI, and physical security systems like video surveillance networks are also expected to undergo major growth over the next four to seven years.
The New York Police Department updated its facial recognition policy recently, adding a Patrol Guide provision and attempting to increase transparency and promote trust. Privacy advocacy group the Urban Justice Center Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP) is not impressed, however, and reasserted its support for the Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology (POST) Act, which would impose further requirements.
Protecting privacy in a connected world is already profoundly challenging, and the expected proliferation of IoT devices could pose a further threat to privacy, security, or both, if AI is not implemented in the right way, Aerendir CEO Dr. Martin Zizi argues in a recent interview with Biometric Update. Zizi suggests that affordable AI at the edge is possible today, by switching back from GPUs to VPUs and deploying chips for specific purposes.
Facial recognition provider Allevate Limited Founder and CEO Carl Gohringer announced in a Linkedin post that the company has declined a contract with an unnamed government due to evidence of civil rights abuses being perpetrated by the prospective client. When reached by Biometric Update Gohringer declined further comment.
Suspension of some biometric systems in Egypt and resumption of a requirement for Yellow Fever documentation linked to biometrics were among top stories from Africa this week, along with new government documents, a Lagos-based startup securing over a million dollars in seed funding, and debates in Ghana and Uganda.
Elsewhere this week in pandemic-related news, facial recognition is among several AI technologies governments are considering deploying to support virus-prevention measures, and Clearview AI is reported to be in talks with U.S. state agencies to join Palantir, itself no stranger to controversy, as a partner in the government’s response.
As life moves further online for many, remote identity verification is booming, just like videoconferencing and other social distancing aids. TechCrunch talks to Passbase, Onfido, Authenteq and Veriff about the major jump in demand over the past few months for applications from healthcare to remote network access. Jumio VP of Global Marketing Dean Nicolls, meanwhile, considers early findings from IDC and Gartner analysts on the outbreaks impacts on enterprises in a blog post. Enterprises are seeing the value of digital transformation in a new light, and can no longer avoid the importance of digital channels. Identity verification volumes have increased by 20 to 100 percent in different verticals served by Jumio.
Hanwang is one of a number of companies introducing solutions with facial recognition tailored to faces with masks, and CTO Huang Lei tells the Financial Times that the company’s technology previously was successful at identifying people wearing masks about half of the time. The article explores the challenges of identifying people with facial biometrics when they are wearing respiratory masks, and what the technology can and cannot do.
If voluntary measures are insufficient, quarantines could be enforced by a new solution from SuperCom based on biometric tracking technology. The product repurposes the ankle bracelet used for enforcing restrictions to the movements of individuals by criminal justice systems to perform isolation monitoring, and is also offered as a smartphone-only solution.
The covid-19 outbreak is potentially a much more deadly threat than terrorism, and protocols in place for airlines and other commercial travel companies to provide governments with Advanced Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Records (PNR) could possibly help contain the virus’ spread, Agile Borders Managing Director Andrew Priestley writes in a contribution to Border Security Report. Sharing traveler’s data can be highly contentious, however, as global discussions around airport biometrics show.
AI is being used to combat the virus and its effects in a wide variety of different ways, as Forbes writes, and in the case of a “smart hospital” in Wuhan, to power robots to do a bunch of different tasks, as Cnet reports. Robots from Cloud Minds Technology, a startup supported by SoftBank, use facial recognition and natural language recognition to interact with patients at hospitals around the country, and at the Wuhan facility have performed all tasks over a several-day period.
Of course, we are always happy to pass along tips for articles, opinions, podcasts and the like which the biometrics and digital ID communities might find interesting or educational. Please comment below or email us your tip for next weekend’s reading list.