Biometrics at the network edge grow in prominence for smart city and healthcare applications

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Biometrics at the network edge grow in prominence for smart city and healthcare applications

Biometrics at the network edge accounted for two of our top stories this week on Biometric Update, with Nvidia launching a new application framework to enable biometrics and other AI capabilities to run on devices. Initial partners for the Nvidia Clara Guardian include biometrics companies like AnyVision and SAFR. The market for AI edge chipsets is taking off, and companies like Qualcomm are partnering up with companies that can manage smart city projects to address it. Xperi subsidiary Invensas has licensed two technologies to Tower Semiconductor to enable it to make 3D image sensors, while another Xperi subsidiary, Perceive, is making chips that can deliver applications like high-accuracy facial recognition without uploading data to a centralized location.

Devices used in systems to support adherence to public health and safety guidance, such as temperature and mask checks, are a potential growth area for edge computing. They are certainly being developed and announced at a rapid clip, with several new products to help businesses reopen announced this week. The thermal scanning market is expected to grow at a 10 percent compound rate over the decade ahead.

Biometrics in Africa were also a popular theme on Biometric Update this week. Electoral commissions in Ghana and Zambia caused some controversy with announcements about the registers to support their democratic processes, and businesses made their pitches to help governments deal with both the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19.

A pair of biometric electoral registers and Morocco’s extension of ID cards to minors drove the week’s news on biometrics and digital ID in Africa to the top of Biometric Update’s most-read articles. It seems likely that more news will follow about Nigeria’s deal for border security with Huawei, and Ghana’s contentious election preparations have hardly left biometrics headlines from the continent ahead of December elections.

The final installment in ID4Africa’s webinar series on Africa’s response to COVID-19 featured a dozen industry experts in two panels discussing the kinds of identity projects that can help governments deal with the pandemic, and then presenting new technologies. The first two webinars featured panels drawn from Africa’s government identity authorities and the international development community. Watch out for a feature interview with ID4Africa Executive Director Dr. Joseph Atick on the key takeaways from the events in next week’s Biometric Update.

New remote onboarding solutions leveraging ID document checks and facial recognition have been launched by deVere and Wise AI. The market might seem like it’s starting to become crowded on the supply side, but as HSBC’s extension of a service based on a similar technology to small businesses shows, the demand is similarly robust.

A new deal between Jumio and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) enables the company to run deduplication checks during the onboarding process to check for synthetic identities. The capability is part of a suite of services for confirming the validity of the identity asserted by a new user.

Testing by NIST on contactless biometrics has shown Idemia’s MorphoWave is broadly interoperable with biometric systems, and has higher accuracy than other hardware- or smartphone-based contactless technologies. Testing also included two touch systems, though the vendors of all entries were anonymized.

A trio of statements by Thales, Idex Biometrics and SmartMetric suggested the beginning is nigh for the commercialization and ultimate mass adoption of biometric payment cards. Thales cited the rise of contactless payments in a blog post, while Idex Biometrics’ ebook says the technology is poised for the mainstream. For once, the prognosticators were right, as plans by BNP Paribas to issue 10,000 to 15,000 cards with Thales and Fingerprint Cards biometric technologies were revealed later in the week.

Apple has launched passwordless biometric authentication for accounts with its Safari browser, and Fido Alliance Executive Director Andrew Shikiar told Biometric Update in a call that with broad buy-in from platforms and vendors, the organization will shift its focus towards encouraging adoption.

Shikiar also addressed several misconceptions related to smart homes and biometrics for Security Brief Australia. He presents and refutes common public opinions on the security of properly-implemented biometrics and the risks of presentation attacks, while arguing for decentralized authentication.

Another lawsuit under Illinois’ BIPA has named a biometrics provider, this time Pindrop, which provides fraud prevention technology for AWS, which is a service provider for the company the plaintiff actually interacted with. Limitations to liability based on the footprint technology providers have in the state have been established by precedent, and provide a likely defense in this case.

FaceApp is back with a new gender-swapping filter and the same cybersecurity and privacy concerns, Forbes writes. Those concerns were found to be relatively overhyped by security researchers, but the FBI issued a warning about the app and others like it from Russia last December. The app’s creator tells Forbes the images collected are not used to train facial recognition or do anything other than perform the process for which they were shared.

GBG General Manager of Identity Fraud Propositions Gus Tomlinson provides a checklist of seven different methods of identifying fraud attempts in onboarding and authentication processes in a guest post. Biometrics are not the only advanced technology she sees as key to defeating sophisticated spoof attacks. Healthcare services are increasingly targeted by attackers, and ID R&D VP of Marketing Kim Martin argues that to defend against them, reduce contact with shared surfaces, control prescriptions and improve patient matching, the sector could benefit from the use of biometrics.

The challenges Canadian governments have faced in trying to stand up digital identity schemes, including balancing privacy considerations and getting past excuses now removed by the global crisis is covered by Sherwood Park News this week. An update of Quebec’s system is at least underway.

The Sovrin Foundation’s transition to a fully volunteer-run operation involves the loss of nine full-time and six part-time jobs, and appears to get messier from there, based on an account by CoinDesk. The account involves a proposed token issuance and a difference of opinion on direction between the organization’s CEO and executive director and its Board and business partners. The influential self sovereign-identity organization says its network remained stable through the transition.  This story may not be over yet.

If there is an article, opinion piece, video, podcast or other item would like to share with the biometrics and digital identity community please let us know in the comments below, through email or social media.

This post was updated at 4:00pm Eastern on June 29, 2020 to clarify that the licensed technology to Tower Semiconductors and development of edge AI chips involve separate subsidiaries of Xperi.

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