Touchless biometric identification and authentication for resumption of work, shopping and travel

Touchless biometric identification and authentication for resumption of work, shopping and travel

From retail biometric systems to health certification based on facial recognition for touchless traveler processing in airports, the contactless systems for economic reopening are the through-line for many of the top stories in the digital identity ecosystem this week. New workforce management products from Iris ID and Nymi, a biometric payment card partnership formed by Zwipe and a Mastercard executives’ take on the progress towards a cashless society show the speed of the shift towards remote identification and authentication.

Members of U.S. Congress from both parties have come together to advance a new bill to start working on interoperable digital ID that people can use for interactions with the government. A task force, standards creation by NIST, and grants through DHS would help improve digital identity in the country.

Retailers are deploying biometrics to help safely resume business and compete with ecommerce vendors. New solutions developed by QNAP and Kabn, each stemming from partnerships, provide facial recognition for retail signage and digital ID check-ins, respectively, while emotion analysis provider Entropik Tech has raised $8 million in funding and NEC has launched a proof of concept of a retail analytics system in Indonesia.

The latest in a series of patent filings from Fingerprint Cards published in the U.S. shows the company has been working on a way to improve the biometric performance of fingerprint systems in consumer electronics. The image-enhancement technique involves multiple images and low-pass filters.

Biometric devices storing all user data locally will make up locks and other parts of the smart homes, providing some assurance of data privacy to the many consumers for whom concerns on the topic are a barrier to adoption, Fingerprint Cards argues in an article on its website.

A partnership with Nvidia and Convergint Technologies have led Chooch AI to a breakthrough in edge AI response speed, and Co-founder and CEO Emrah Gultelkin says in an interview with Biometric Update that a lot of early developer interest in edge inferencing is related to facial recognition and biometric liveness.

Vision-Box biometrics will be used to screen passengers arriving at the Winnipeg airport through the NEXUS program, and airports in Malaysia and India have announced plans to deploy similar technology to cut down on physically close interactions between travellers and staff. Facial recognition is also part of a newly-accredited health safety program at Hong Kong airport, and residents of all 50 states can now get REAL ID-compliant drivers’ licenses, meaning they can use them for domestic commercial air travel.

Lawsuits over the use of images in a training dataset to reduce demographic disparity in facial recognition accuracy against Amazon and Microsoft should be thrown out, the companies argue, as they neither collected the biometric data from state residents, nor used it in-state. Related cases have been brought against IBM and Google.

Data privacy law expert David Oberly of Blank Rome LLP explains in a Biometric Update guest post how companies can avoid being targeted by biometric privacy lawsuits. Oberly breaks down the legal landscape and provides a list of compliance tips for BU readers.

Brandeis University’s student newspaper is calling for post-secondary institutions to condemn the use of remote proctoring services, many of which use biometrics, arguing that they “violate student privacy and exacerbate existing systems of oppression.” Part of the reasoning is “the especially problematic role of facial recognition,” with reference to a quote adding transphobia to allegations of the algorithms’ racism and sexism. Brandeis is not using remote proctoring, due to a review finding privacy concerns.

Facial biometrics are increasing in popularity as part of access control and other systems for residential buildings and communities, and as companies like Amazon enter the market, StoneLock GM Yanik Brunet tells Biometric Update the effectiveness of his company’s ‘faceless’ biometrics regardless of user attributes, along with its privacy protections, make StoneLock the leading choice for touchless authentication.

The promise of quantum computing also contains major potential risk for encrypted sensitive data stored in centralized databases to be cracked, Valid Director of Identity Programs Kevin Freiburger writes in another guest post. To maintain data and account security, businesses will need to become a little more sophisticated in their data storage practices, and implement biometrics.

Ecuador is rolling out its new biometric passports in line with ICAO requirements, which enable Ecuadorians free access to the EU Schengen area. Half a world away, Belgium is also launching physical ID documents with biometrics, as its new national ID cards will include color photos and fingerprint data to meet regional standards for the credentials.

MIT Technology Review’s Deep Tech podcast examines what it sees as the backsliding of Brazil from an emerging leader online rights and data governance into techno-authoritarianism. Government databases have been consolidated to centralize vast troves of citizen data, including face and voice biometrics, journalist Richard Kemeny says, and facial recognition systems brought in during the World Cup and Olympics have become part of the normal police apparatus, but a new data law is on track to take affect this year.

Zwipe is continuing to partner up with players in different elements of payment card manufacturing and production, new leadership appointments at Idemia NSS, Alcatraz, Signicat and Behavox, and a Mastercard executive’s take on the momentum towards cashless societies were also among the most widely read stories in the industry this week.

Nymi has added worker tracking capabilities to its enterprise wearable to help companies in a wide range of industries operate contact tracing and social distancing enforcement programs. CEO Chris Sullivan told Biometric Update in an email interview that the company is looking to expand its market to help businesses outside its core customer bases in pharmaceuticals, medical device manufacturing and financial services.

Iris ID explains its new approach to biometric workforce management with the launch of the IrisTime platform and a new device for multi-biometric fusion in a brand focus article. The flexible and open platform makes it easy to integrate for ISVs and enterprises, the company says.

Algorithmic policing, what it means and whether it works has been investigated by the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, and Cynthia Khoo, co-author of its report “To Surveil and Protect: A Human Rights Analysis of Algorithmic Policing in Canada” joins Toronto Star podcast This Matters. The report finds that predictive algorithms are used less in Canada than the U.S., and that transparency around both predictive and surveillance technologies is lacking.

A blog post from Thales delves into identity and its importance, tracing the modern concept back to a conceptual borrowing from mathematics by French mathematician and philosopher Nicolas de Condorcet. The need for inclusive identity systems has been magnified with more interactions occurring remotely and more people than ever relying on government assistance, the post argues.

AI ethics groups considering bias against traditionally underrepresented groups, fairness and other challenges for the field tend to look the same as each other, and as many of the world’s more powerful boards and committees, MIT Technology Review writes. This raises the likelihood that the visions they put forward will be less global than North America and Northwestern Europe-centric, a possibility the Montreal AI Ethics Institute is working to avoid.

Orange Business Services VP for Middle East and Africa Sahem Azzam writes about the importance of digital identity to smart cities for ITP.net. Smart cities of the future could be home to 70 percent of the world’s people by 2050, and multichannel communication with citizens based on digital ID will be necessary, according to Azzam.

Entrust Datacard is now just Entrust, after rebranding to reflect the continued emphasis on trust in its business, even as cards are in many cases replaced by digital interactions. CEO Todd Wilkinson says in the company’s rebrand overview that Entrust will also have a new mindset to go with its shorter name.

Please let us know if you spot an article, editorial, video or other content you would like to share with people in the biometrics and digital identity communities in the comments below or through social media.

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