Scope of biometrics uses on the market keeps growing

Categories Biometrics News  |  Trade Notes
Scope of biometrics uses on the market keeps growing

The top stories in biometrics, AI and the digital identity landscape this week were united in their different sectors and use cases. From controlling access to restricted and dangerous substances, to understanding what soldiers are saying, from payments to national ID, and from safe reopening of schools and workplaces to touchless airport processes, the market is abuzz.

Pilots of opioid dispensation machines with Fujitsu’s palm vein biometric technology are rolling out across Canada to support harm reduction strategies, in one of the most-read articles of the week on Biometric Update. The company providing the machines, Dispension Industries, is receiving financial support from the Canadian government.

The U.S. Army is working on adapting speech recognition for real world environments, complete with reverberations, background noise and colloquialisms, or colorful language. The Joint Understanding and Dialogue Interface (JUDI) capability will allow soldiers to have more conversational interactions with autonomous systems like mobile robots, and ultimately carry out missions more effectively and safely.

Google is working on expanding biometric payments to desktop Chrome users through WebAuthn, which it thinks can get around the high user friction that has previously prevented upfront authentication. As an alternative to 3DS authentication, the method could improve user privacy.

Low-power biometric systems that extend the optimization work done for smartphone integration are also expected to play a key role in payment cards, as a Fingerprint Cards blog post explains.

Nigeria is continuing to step up its national identification systems, and a government committee recommends the country’s biometric records be solely managed by its National Identity Management Commission, in part to minimize the number of sensitive records held by other agencies. After some confusion, it turns out physical ID cards are remaining part of NIMC’s NIN system. Elsewhere in Africa, border controls and of course Ghana’s electoral register made headlines. Biometric identity cards are also being launched in Cyprus and Morocco, while India is planning for a digital health card.

The extent to which digital ID has enabled financial inclusion in Argentina is contextualized and examined in a guest post by Yoti Digital Identity Fellow Paz Bernaldo. The importance of the details, in implementation and communication, is clear.

Digital ID can help get financial and other forms of support to vulnerable people effectively, but it is no silver bullet, World Bank Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships Mari Elka Pangestu writes in a blog post. Digital ID needs to be implemented in conjunction with access to digital infrastructure, digital payments, and data governance. Pangestu argues that as countries think about “build back better,” they can transform many lives by building digital ID systems that maximize privacy, inclusion, and trust.

Combinations of biometrics and body temperature scanning continue to reach the market, with CyberLink, Princeton Identity, and OneScreen launching solutions. Schools are starting to implement them too, with Remark Holdings devices going into operation at a Las Vegas school. DHS S&T, meanwhile, is looking into temperature screening technologies for first responders.

BIO-key continues to rapidly sign up colleges for its PortalGuard IAM, meanwhile. The deployments do not seem to involve BIO-key’s traditional core fingerprint technologies, but Centrify sees biometric authentication for remote work increasing, and remote learning and educational resources access seems a short step removed.

The aviation technology market seems to be increasing activity, with NEC announcing it is using Red Hat’s Kubernetes-based container platform as the infrastructure for its One ID implementation at Narita Airport, Travizory raising money, and SITA’s Smart Path going online in Beijing. An Idemia executive shares examples of airports showing vision in touchless end-to-end experiences, and Clear kiosks have been deployed at Nashville International, and the race to make processes touchless is on.

Venuetize, which recently raised over $2 million to bring contactless biometrics to sports and live events, is six.

The SenseTime IPO is on again, at least for now, according to reports, and could be worth $8.5 billion. The latest rumor is a dual listing in Hong Kong and China’s mainland, which would test the extent of the firm’s inclusion on the U.S.’ Entity List if it comes off.

The Security Industry Association’s new principles have already been violated by some of the organization’s member companies, OneZero accuses. The article cites NEC’s work on live facial recognition with UK police, and the involvement of Dahua and Hikvision in repression of China’s Uighur minority, as well as alleged villainy by Clearview AI and law enforcement customers of the technology in the U.S. The article brings to mind the question former member of European Parliament and Stanford University Cyber Policy Center International Policy Director Marietje Schaake is reported by The New Yorker to have asked at a conference last October: How do we make sure ethical commitments are meaningful and enforceable, rather than window dressing?

Dahua and Hikvision’s cameras are no longer allowed on U.S. universities, since they count as federal contractors, with NDAA sanctions coming into effect this week. Between allowances based on risk, and self-certification for compliance, there may be little change, despite the company’s holding a market share of nearly 40 percent. On the other hand, Clearview picked up a contract with ICE earlier this month.

The limited understanding of operators, media, and lawmakers is hindering the best practices, policies and oversight needed to strike the right balance on facial recognition, Mitre says in a report which it draws from its practical experience with the technology.

The third entry in an interesting four-part series from One World Identity examines the regional approach to digital identity being taken by the European Union with the revocation of the Privacy Shield agreement with the U.S. That move was part of a longer-term split with the U.S. on regulation of the tech industry.

The $650 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit alleging privacy violations with face biometrics by Facebook has been approved. Biometric data privacy attorney David Oberly of Blank Rome explains the significance in a guest post.

CyberLink CEO Dr. Hau Juang recently joined Yahoo Finance to talk about the role technologies like contactless biometrics, mask detection and temperature scanning can play in safe work and public environments, especially with the right regulations in place.

Endeavor Jordan interviews IrisGuard Founder Imad Malhas about the impact of COVID-19 on the company and the world, and his advice for entrepreneurs. Malhas says sweat and sleepless nights are part of being an entrepreneur at all times, not just amidst a global crisis, which he predicts will be largely forgotten in three years.

Please let us know of any articles, opinions, podcasts or other content you think people in the biometrics industry and digital ID community should know about in the comments below or through the usual channels.

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