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Lack of liveness checks in remote biometric verification risks identity theft, Nomidio survey says


identity document and smartphone

Only one in five applicants using remote identity verification checks, including with biometrics, has been asked to perform a liveness check, according to new data from Nomidio, potentially leaving them vulnerable to identity theft.

Governments and regulatory authorities such as the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority encouraged firms to perform remote application processing during lockdowns to maintain business practices to the extent possible. A survey of UK adults by Opinium for Nomidio shows that the response has opened some vulnerabilities in industry practices.

One in seven respondents say they have had to provide proof of their identity digitally while locked down, and 49 percent of those were asked to email sensitive documents, such as passports or driving licenses to apply for a loan or set up a new account.

One in four used biometrics, but only 20 percent were asked to perform liveness checks, according to the survey data.

“This research shows that some firms are playing fast and loose with consumer’s sensitive identity information. The industry has been scrambling to adapt to mass remote identity verification and it’s clear security and privacy have both suffered as a result,” says Nomidio Commercial Director Philip Black in the results announcement.

“During this period it is imperative firms implement a biometrically-enabled remote identity system incorporating a liveness check, fortunately, this functionality can now be delivered as a service from the cloud,” Black continues. “Our customer Hitachi Capital implemented Nomidio in just 24 hours to help administer Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme applications, following a four-fold increase in demand for remote applications.”

Nomidio announced the partnership with Hitachi Capital to provide biometric identity and liveness checking technology in April.

The possibility of passive liveness checks being used is not mentioned in the announcement.

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