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Innovations in on-device biometrics for crypto, edge devices, and enterprise security unveiled

Innovations in on-device biometrics for crypto, edge devices, and enterprise security unveiled

Local matching, whether on biometric cards, mobile phones or edge devices was a key theme running through the week’s top biometrics news, including new products, chips and solutions from ExtoLabs, Amazon and BlackBerry. Airport facial recognition implementations continue to expand and roll out as the industry attempts to recover from the pandemic, while perspectives among aviation industry stakeholders WTTC and Vision-Box show a convergence of opinion on the way forward.

The ExtoWallet cryptocurrency wallet from Ethernom spinoff ExtoLabs, which offers a biometric smart card with a fingerprint sensor from Fingerprint Cards, is working towards the launch of an Android version with a Kickstarter campaign launching soon. ExtoLabs CEO and Co-founder Orang Dialameh tells Biometric Update that the cards can also be used for digital identity, logical and physical access control and more.

Announcements on more airport biometrics came from both sides of the Atlantic, with Heathrow International Airport in London half-way through a rollout of boarding gates with facial recognition integrated by dormakaba. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is expanding its Preclearance programs for biometric verification and streamlined airport processing of trusted travellers to more international airports.

The WTTC has issued a report on the travel and tourism sector’s recovery, with heavy emphasis on digitization and touchless processes, many enabled by biometrics. Vision-Box’s CEO expressed similar sentiments, while CBP’s facial biometric have been launched at SFO for the Simplified Arrivals program.

New edge AI chips in Amazon Echo devices could significantly improve their biometric performance, while also helping protect user privacy by keeping biometric data out of the cloud. The company has also developed a pseudo-anonymous method of tracking a person speaking while moving through a room.

Elsewhere this week, Apple VP of Platform Architecture Tim Millet discusses the company’s A14 Bionic processor, which will debut in the forthcoming iPad Air, in an interview reported by AppleInsider. He also notes that the company is not planning to adapt FaceID to support masks, and suggests that switching to periocular recognition would compromise the feature’s biometric security.

BlackBerry has launched an enterprise behavioral biometrics solution for continuous authentication, with actions automatically triggered at the endpoint if a security breach is detected. Another behavioral biometrics solution, this one from Featurespace, has been adopted by major UK bank NatWest, meanwhile.

Kenya’s controversial biometrics-backed national digital ID program, Huduma Namba, marches on with both biometric deduplication and a production center for the production of physical ID cards said to be 90 percent complete. Allegations of misuse of data collected for Huduma Namba may threaten the system’s use in the 2022 elections, however.

South Africa’s post-secondary education system has been severely challenged by pandemic conditions, and while digital identity and biometrics can help, the situation risks exacerbating existing inequalities, Yoti Digital Identity Fellow Tshepo Magoma writes in a Biometric Update guest post.

Using biometrics to further integration between countries and regions is a key to the success of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), WhoYou Business Development Director Craig Hills writes for iTweb Africa. Regional biometric identity bureaus and remote digital identity technologies can help that integration along.

Trulioo lauds the Pan Canadian Trust Framework in a company blog post, suggesting that it could make digital trust quicker, safer and less costly. The framework was launched in the middle of September, and is eventually supposed to underpin open banking in the country, among many other services.

Implementations of ID document and selfie biometric checks have been announced by Hooyu, Onfido, Q5id, as AuthMe demonstrated its technology at Microsoft Taiwan’s Demo Day. Jumio argues the cost-benefit associated with using such remote identity proofing has tipped, which will spur widespread adoption by businesses.

Mitek CTO Stephen Ritter draws an analogy between passwords and the proverbial front door key under the mat in a guest post, arguing that layering it into multiple remote access workflows can result in dramatic security improvements.

The Next Web shines a light on FIDO2 and interviews FIDO Alliance Executive Director Andrew Shikiar about the passwordless authentication protocols march towards widespread adoption. Shikiar expects 90 percent of major web services will offer passwordless authentication within five years.

Pennsylvania is using ID.me’s identity verification technology to cut down on fraudulent unemployment claims. Claims are on hold, pending individuals’ verification, following a surge in fraudulent claims detected in September.

The Biometrics Institute opened its 2020 online Congress by announcing three laws for biometrics, which reinforce the organization’s fundamental principles for the responsible and ethical use of biometrics. The primacy of policy, and the need for process and then technology to be determined after, is the key.

An interesting panel discussion featuring Timnit Gebru, Olga Russakovsky and Fei Fei Li at Fast Company’s 2020 Innovation Festival discussed how AI products can be made ethical, why they often are not, and what they are doing about it.

Financial software company Avaloq Group has been acquired by NEC, which intends to integrate its biometrics and other technologies with cloud solutions for government services. Japan is attempting to digitize government services, and will be the first target market for the planned integration.

The notion of using a Kelvin probe to capture fingerprint images has been around for some time, but Susanna Challinger has developed a method of doing so in a way that preserves the evidence the print is scanned from. She breaks down the technology and some of its implications for forensic investigators for Biometric Update in an interview.

Retail staff have experienced verbal abuse and violence at elevated rates during lockdown conditions, and UK police say they will not respond to calls for crimes lower in value than £100, Facewatch CEO Nick Fisher writes for betterRetailing. The way to deal with this situation, he contends, is to equip store security cameras with facial recognition.

The Washington Post considers the privacy implications of the new Amazon One, and its chances of market success. One potential barrier mentioned is that by moving the biometric process from the customer’s phone to a fixed hardware device, the company takes on responsibility for its proper functioning.

University of Michigan Dearborn Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Hafiz Malik tells the school’s news site that the biometric revolution is not doomed to be a passing fad, but that the popularity of biometrics for different applications will depend on how people feel about trade-offs and compromises.

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