Developing biometrics market segments advance with new technologies and forecasts
Steps towards biometric technology and market maturity made up the top news items of the week on Biometric Update, with new technologies introduced to help bring fingerprint-enabled payment cards to market, a solution to bring edge biometrics to IoT devices, an expected boom in biometrics for door locks and doorbells, and preparation for an IPO by one of the industry’s fastest-growing companies. Ethical issues remain a major focus, particularly where public surveillance with live facial recognition systems is involved.
Biometric payment cards are drawing ever-closer to a commercial reality, and Fingerprint Cards, STMicroelectronics, Idex Biometrics and eSignus all share details on some of the different technologies they have developed, mostly separately, to bring it about. FPC shares videos depicting its second-generation T-Shape biometric module, and Idex’ use of a robot to test cards is featured in another.
NXP Semiconductors has launched a new solution for edge facial recognition on IoT devices, including a microcontroller and AI and machine learning software. The company says the SDK can reduce time-to-market to as little as six months, and the MCU starts at $4 each for 10,000 units.
Door locks and doorbells appear to be among the next wave of items to integrate biometrics into mainstream commercial products, with a $14.6 billion dollar gain forecast over the next seven years for the former and more than a billion dollars in the latter. Xiaomi has launched a smart lock into this emerging market.
The Philippines is making progress in its registration of citizens for a new biometric identity card reportedly intended to help counter election fraud, and Bangladesh is standing up the capability for overseas Bangladeshis in several countries to register for national identity cards, including enrolling their biometrics.
The myGovID digital identity service is being launched by the Australian Government, but initially as an equivalent to the 100-point ID check without facial recognition of liveness detection. Liveness detection is still in development, but may not be fully operational until September 2021.
Idemia VP of Civil Identity for North America Matthew Thompson writes in a Veterans Day LinkedIn post about how his military service has informed his work in identity, both with ID.me and his current company. He also calls on Congress to invest in state DMVs as a way to help reduce identity theft.
Loss Prevention Magazine takes a deep dive into the use of facial recognition in retail settings, interviewing representatives of FaceFirst, ABI Research, and several other organizations. A tension has developed between the appeal of the technology as a way to reduce theft and fear of controversy or reputational harm.
Integrated Biometrics Executive Vice President David Gerulski discusses how biometrics are helping humanitarian efforts in Yemen in a member interview with Tovah LaDier of the International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA). The dire situation is also challenging from a biometrics perspective due to a million people being spread across 80,000 locations with almost no network infrastructure, dusty, dry conditions and blazing sunshine.
Onfido Co-founder and until-recently CEO Husayn Kassai says an IPO is coming for the company “at some point” in an interview with TechCrunch as he transitions to a new part-time advisory role. The IPO focus and the ten years of constant work Kassai has put into growing the company to this point are the reasons for the move.
Coverage of Kassai stepping down to be succeeded as Onfido CEO by Mike Tuchen, as well as the appointment of Peter Evans as Patriot One’s new CEO and Mark McArdle as Imprivata’s new SVP of Products and Design, was also among the week’s top stories.
Mass surveillance with biometric technology continues to increase in China, according to a new report, and becoming more overt as a response to COVID-19. The report suggests that three provinces besides Xinjiang have sought ethnicity recognition in their facial recognition systems, and that ‘Project Sharp Eyes’ has a goal of 100 percent coverage this year.
A survey during the Biometrics Institute’s recent Congress shows that many people within the industry feel it needs to do more to influence messaging around the ethical use of facial recognition. Activists are fighting back against the spread of government projects using the technology in Russia and India, while smart street lights in San Diego have been deactivated, sort of, and IPVM reports that Dahua provided ethnicity recognition software for tracking Uyghurs in China.
Privacy International has released a series of reports detailing how international aid projects funded by the European Union have wound up boosting exports of surveillance technologies from the region. One of the three reports alleges that projects in Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire involving Civipol are being carried out despite conflicts with national laws and other concerns.
The U.S. Army has issued a pre-solicitation document ahead of a planned contract to run a pilot with facial recognition technology at its Child Development Center at Ft. Jackson. The intention seems to be to test new ways to monitor children’s health and well-being, but few details are available so far.
A trio of attorneys from Blank Rome break down the implications of New York’s new SHIELD Act, which strengthens the state’s data security rules, for any company collecting or using the biometric data of state residents. The Act’s scope makes it a concern for many biometrics providers, and the trend towards enacting security protections for biometric data is likely to reach more states soon, they write.
Detroit City Council Member James Tate makes an argument in favor of the use of facial recognition for law enforcement, with appropriate guard rails, in an interview with New York Times’ On Tech newsletter. A similar tension between concern about crime and concern about human rights is at play as in retail, but Tate says policy is improving.
Documentary Coded Bias from director Shalini Kantayya, which explores the problem of unequal treatment by algorithms and the people working against it, like Joy Buolamwini, is reviewed by Cnet. The documentary starts with facial analysis, and goes on to describe the role of AI in everyday life. The review itself has a very pronounced slant.
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