Building trust in biometrics and building trust with biometrics present industry with related challenges
Trust in biometrics for applications from digital health credentials to humanitarian aid delivery, as well as how to build up trust in work and other social environments with digital ID and biometric technology, is the theme of the week’s top news stories on Biometric Update. An insider from Mitre Corp., reports from the IEEE, World Economic Forum, and Caribou Digital and DAI express concerns with the current state of affairs, while the roll-out of new biometric technologies to support recovery from the pandemic accelerates.
Biometric facial recognition is forecast by different analysts to reach $10.9 billion by 2025 and $15 billion by 2027, and voice recognition, video surveillance cameras and digital identity technologies are all expected to grow impressively over the next few years.
Privacy policies and laws that have been static for generations need to change, but so does the wave of misinformation influencing public dialogue about biometrics, according to an expert from the non-profit Mitre Corp. The non-profit has developed some impressive and potentially scary identification technologies for U.S. government organizations, while the public largely fails to grasp the technologies that are already used in the field.
A new research paper from a group of European experts makes five suggestions for technical and policy steps companies can make to build trust in facial recognition and other biometrics. The paper, published to IEEE.org, takes a different approach to building trust than those who aim to build support for the technology by emphasizing its most widely accepted uses. The World Economic Forum suggests defining responsible use of biometrics, supporting product design teams and providing self- and third-part assessments can help build trust, but sustainable regulation is also needed. A European Commission consultation shows an appetite for new legislation to regulate AI, and high-risk applications in particular.
A report from Caribou Digital and DAI explores the risks associated with biometrics use in humanitarian systems. The report urges donors and implementers adopt strong data protocols, like those of the ICRC, and to consider carefully the potential for humanitarian data to feed state social protection systems. Evernym Director of Marketing Alex Andrade-Walz writes in meanwhile in a guest post for Biometric Update about the efforts of iRespond to provide digital identity to stateless people in a way that preserves their privacy, a necessity given their degree of vulnerability.
The facial recognition bias problem has been rapidly diminishing, and the media may be making too much of the limitations on selling it self-imposed recently by tech giants, Freelance technology writer Sarvesh Mathi writes in a Medium post. It is rather bias in the technology’s use and the risks associated with highly accurate facial recognition that make it truly dangerous, Mathi argues.
Analytics India Magazine has a concise overview of the Clearview AI backlash, which refers to a company document claim that the 98.6 percent accuracy of the company’s facial recognition translates to a hit rate between 30 and 60 percent, but with no false positives.
Executives from Idex Biometrics, Fingerprint Cards and Nuance Communications have recently each penned editorials describing the opportunity for biometrics to enable transactions without requiring either passwords or contact with shared surfaces. From access control systems and contactless payment cards to layers of physical and behavioral biometrics, the technology is already on the market to support these processes, for which demand has suddenly surged with the pandemic.
All About Circuits provides an excellent in-depth description of biometric system-on-card technology, as developed by STMicroelectronics and Fingerprint Cards. The technology has come a long way since 2014 to include contactless data transmission and power harvesting.
The balance between deployments and launches of technologies like biometric wearables, temperature scanning devices, and digital health credentials for COVID-19 recovery continues to shift. Announcements from Lanner, SafePass, Digital Barriers, CyberLink, NEC, Whoop and Clear show the market’s sustained drive to support back-to-work efforts with technology.
NEC and SITA are also working together on a contactless digital identity solution leveraging facial biometrics for complete airport journeys. Air travel may be one of the hardest challenges ahead for reopening the global economy, but NEC does now have 121 years of innovation experience to draw on.
Government digital ID and biometric efforts in Malaysia, Kurdistan and Singapore to improve service delivery by the private or public sector have moved forward. Trinidad and Tobago’s government is being urged to launch a framework for online authentication and support new biometric and digital ID services to assist its economic recovery, while programs in the UK and Australia received disappointing news.
We take a closer look this week at Nigeria’s new Digital Identification for Development Project committee, which includes half a dozen cabinet ministers, and is tasked with driving adoption of the biometrics-backed National Identification Number from 41 million to all 200 million, as well as secure integration of the NIN with identity systems for banking, driver’s licenses and passports.
Concerns about the privacy of personal data, including face and behavioral biometrics, have motivated Australia to consider investigating Chinese-owned social media platforms, including TikTok. Any probe is not expected to be either formal or public, however.
The professionalization of online fraud and hacking has raised the stakes for cybersecurity beyond what passive biometrics alone can protect against, Acceptto Principle Security Architect Fausto Oliveira tells Biometric Update in an interview. Only a holistic approach applying behavioral biometrics and machine learning to provide continuous, passwordless authentication can secure enterprise networks, he argues.
Facial recognition-based retail insights company Popcom has acquired game-based survey company Wyzerr for an undisclosed amount, according to a blog post. Popcom plans to build the surveys into its artificial intelligence and vending machine products.
Finally, all the best to Onfido Co-founder Eamon Jubbawy in his new role with Al-Ayn Foundation, for which he will step away from the company.
Please let us know of any news item, editorial, report or post that the biometrics and digital identity communities may be interested in with a comment below or through social media.