Digital ID boosted by global organizations and biometrics providers, proposed legislation
Biometrics in support of digital ID, and the growing momentum towards digital credentials in general made up the main theme of Biometric Update’s most widely-read news of the week. One set of ICAO digital travel credential specifications have been approved, Mastercard has signed up a telecom, and buguroo has added a Policy Manager to its behavioral biometrics fraud protection, for a few examples. Meanwhile, an ambitious government ID card plan in Uganda and concerns over contracts in South Africa and DRC made headlines, and another round of earnings reports shows the industry preparing for further market growth.
Uganda is planning to distribute ID cards with embedded biometrics it says are already produced to people already registered in its national ID system. Muehlbauer said there were 30 million people registered as of last year, and NIRA has told Ugandans to be ready to be collect theirs between November 23 and December 7.
Government contracts involving biometrics in South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are generating controversy, though problems with previous contracts, and in one case possibly a business partner, seem to be the cause.
The ICAO’s digital travel credential has taken another step towards a production launch with endorsement by its dedicated technical advisory group. The UN’s biometrics-backed digital ID wallet and IOTA has released the alpha version of its distributed ID standard framework and open-sourced its digital health passport, among other digital identity advances.
In financial services, buguroo has launched a new tool, Nuggets and LexisNexis have partnered up, and OneSpan sees ID regulations coming. On the government side, Singapore has a proposal on the table, Thailand believes 40 million people will sign up for a national program for remote biometrics, and an Australian Senate committee has some recommendations for the country’s digital identity system.
Mastercard has struck a major contract with an Australian telecom to provide its digital identity service backed by biometrics in all engagement channels. While the financial details of the partnership were not disclosed, it would seem to represent another step in the payment network’s digital ID shift.
In a farewell post, Onfido ex-CEO Husayn Kassai claims that the next tech giant could be a digital ID company. The company he co-founded, meanwhile, has signed up new partners in a couple of different sectors.
The final ID2020 ‘Summit Session’ of this year’s series featured Congressman Bill Foster, author and co-sponsor of the ‘Improving Digital Identity Act,’ and was hotly anticipated by Biometric Update readers, judging by the number of people checking out the preview article. Moderator Blythe Masters noted that it may take a physicist like Foster to untangle the complexities of the issue, and Foster did so over a highly engaging presentation and discussion.
Yoti says it has developed a biometric age checking capability that delivers estimates accurate within one to two years for people between 16 and 25 years of age. The company’s face biometrics have also been adopted for KYC and more traditional age checks by online gaming platform MrQ.com.
If there are going to be six billion biometric apps by 2025, as Juniper Research predicts, people are going to be fed up with being bound to a certain device when they could do the same thing through a cloud and browser-base approach, Philip Black, Nomidio’s commercial director, writes in an editorial for THINK Digital Partners.
Separating the domain of personal information and biometrics between the government and third party providers creates a privacy firewall, iProov CEO Andrew Bud tells The Edge Markets in an article on the role of facial recognition in digital ID in Singapore and Malaysia.
Myths about biometrics always being prone to data breaches and spoofing, or becoming frustrating with the slightest disadvantage in conditions will not prevent the continued rise in biometrics adoption Fingerprint Cards Senior Director of Global Marketing and Comms Lina Andolf-Orup writes in a widely-read Biometric Update guest post. Biometric payments are about to become common, she writes, and the automotive industry may be next.
The aviation industry continues to invest in biometrics and contactless ID, as Star Alliance has developed a biometric platform with NEC technology to improve the experiences of its frequent flyers. AE Industrial Partners is also planning to launch a seamless travel platform after buying a pair of companies, and U.S. airports have deployed new TSA credential scanners and biometric boarding.
OneZero looks at the proliferation of tracking technologies, some of them biometric, among pandemic control measures, and their likely persistence afterwards for other applications. People, or Americans at least, seem willing to give up some privacy, but only up to a point.
Mitek CEO Max Carnecchia never worked remotely, until the pandemic struck, as he says is an article excerpted by PYMNTS. The company had a five-year old continuity plan that worked out well in its first real test, he says, allowing it to continue functioning just as its technology became more needed than ever.
Publicly traded biometrics companies are positioning themselves financially, with Remark Holdings suggesting it will further improve on big gains in Q3, Nuance selling a pair of businesses, Zwipe registering a share capital increase and BIO-key executing a reverse stock split. Hikvision has been cut off from U.S. investment, meanwhile, but its stock price was not unduly affected in the immediate short term.
Touchless Biometric Systems (TBS) CEO Alex Zarrabi tells Sejalas in an interview that becoming profitable and sustaining a fast pace of technological innovation with a limited workforce have been the two main challenges for him as the company’s leader. He talks about foreseeing the extension of biometrics to management applications ahead of the curve, and the company extending its responsibility by reducing plastic shipments 99 percent in the past year.
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