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Biometrics partnerships extend multimodal workplace security, digital health systems


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New partnerships and successes from established collaborations make up the most read biometrics news this week. Deals between Jumio and Veridium, Clear and the NBA, and Mastercard and patient health data platform b.well have been unveiled, and a new case study details the combined power of Precise Biometrics’ platform with Innovatrics’ facial recognition algorithms. Developments involving SecureKey and the IATA Travel Pass also indicate the vast market potential of digital ID technology to unlock emerging applications.

Top biometrics news of the week

A collaboration between Precise Biometrics and Innovatrics to integrate SmartFace biometrics with YOUNiQ access control is detailed in a new case study, covering how the facial recognition system enables an easy workflow from preregistration and self-enrollment through administration and management. The partners say their combined technologies result in a scalable and fast access control system with high security, a positive user experience, and privacy protections.

Jumio and Veridium have partnered to bring multimodal biometrics in the form of facial and touchless fingerprints through mobile devices to two customers in Africa. The integrated technologies are being piloted by a government agency and a systems integrator in Nigeria, and will also apply to some accounts in Latin America.

U.S. Congress is considering a bill that would graduate the Department of Homeland Security’s Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Authorization Act (Bitmap) program, which partners with foreign governments to identify people unwelcome in the country from ten-year pilot to a permanent program. Little is known about the details of the program, but it had 14 partner nations as of 2018.

India is linking face biometrics not just to digital health passes but to vaccine delivery, for contactless identity verification, while vaccine certificates for travel continue to gain steam. IATA’s Travel Pass has reached the next stage in a trial by Singapore Airlines, and is one of three passes being trialed by Japan Airlines, Trybe.ID has launched a new decentralized travel pass offering, and iProov’s CEO says such credentials may be used for years.

Businesses, universities and other institutions are considering their options for safe reopening, which in some cases includes ‘vaccine passports,’ but The New York Times suggests those considerations are raising uncomfortable questions about who can require what from other people. Historical precedent makes restrictions based on vaccination legal throughout the United States and most other countries, but health passes could potentially contribute to social inequity, and Florida has already threatened to withhold State support from businesses requiring patrons prove they have been vaccinated.

A Mondato blog asks if vaccine passes will exclude or enable, and starts with the requirement of an Israeli ID number to receive Israel’s Green Pass. Vaccine certificates do not necessarily have to replicate the exclusionary gaps common among foundational ID systems, however, and solving the inclusion and interoperability challenges could advance verifiable credentials technology by years. Building in options and flexibility will be important.

Clear has taken another step beyond airports and further into the events market, with a deal that could bring biometric health screening to all 30 NBA stadiums for fans. While teams are not obligated to use the tool, a third of the basketball league’s teams are already using Clear Health Pass.

Digital identity for healthcare beyond proof of tests or vaccines is also a hot topic, with Mastercard and b.well partnering on patient ID, a regional partnership for Imprivata, and a new arrangement between Identos, SecureKey and several Canadian hospitals. InfoMart, meanwhile, has extended its healthcare and educational credential app to developed a broader professional credentials app.

Idemia has reached the top of the NIST FRVT 1:N overall biometric accuracy leaderboard in the March 26 update, with a win in the border control category at 99.65 percent true match rate. The company’s CTO Jean-Christophe Fondeur noted the importance of third-party testing to check biometric algorithms against large datasets.

Idemia also published a position paper with five key recommendations for airports and governments to help them meet the requirements of the European Entry Exit System. In addition to the use of biometric gates to automate most passenger security checks, the company argues for the use of NIST-approved algorithms, passive presentation attack detection systems, and a flexible, adaptable approach.

The EAB’s ‘Demographic Fairness in Biometric Systems’ virtual event wrapped up recently, with a series of presentations from many of the industry’s leading lights on algorithmic accuracy and potential bias in results. NIST is planning to put out its next report on demographic differentials in May, and Patrick Grother noted in the first full day of the event that threshold-setting for facial recognition seems to have developed from fingerprint biometrics, among many important insights from the day. Further coverage from Biometric Update will present highlights from the final day.

Ethical AI researcher and Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario Luke Stark has written a book on computers and emotion, and talks to OneZero about the problems with emotion recognition. The conversation with Rochester Institute of Technology Philosophy Professor Evan Selinger and Stark spans from ‘the problem of parts’ to the whack-a-mole that could ensue from banning facial analysis.

The U.S. Army has put out a series of requests for proposals relating to biometrics, including two for base access security and data cleansing. The base access system sought by the Army should be able to capture images for facial recognition of multiple passengers at up to 10 mph, and the ABIS system should be able to sort through templates for several different modalities submitted in some cases by systems nearing obsolescence.

The power of NFC technology to support everyday biometrics applications like mobile onboarding and identity verification is explored in a guest post from Shufti Pro Marketing Executive Damien Martin. Leveraging NFC capabilities allows the most secure capabilities of modern ID documents to be used to compare live selfies and other data against.

Acuant Vice President of Engineering Glenn Larson recommends businesses implementing identity proofing as part of a forced digital transformation utilize no-code solutions in a Forbes Technology Council post. No-code options have matured beyond a reputation for being business user or developer-centric, Larson writes, and by asking the right questions, organizations can build robust workflows for onboarding and verification.

As biometrics increase in prominence for everyday consumer processes beyond smartphones, and biometric payment cards reach commercial roll-outs, Fingerprint Cards CEO Christian Fredrikson writes in an editorial for Security News Desk about the next stages in the technology’s adoption. Fredrikson looks at educational and access control applications, with comment from executives at BSI, TBS Biometrics, Paxton and Alcatraz.

Please let us know of any articles, podcasts or other content you think should be shared with the biometrics and broader digital identity community in the comments below or through social media.

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