Biometric ID, payment card use forecast as digital identity initiatives advance
Digital identity backed by government and intended for public sector services, and in some cases private sector use, is a central theme of the week on Biometric Update, with the Philippines’ rollout steaming ahead, and Canada and the UK advancing their plans. Biometric technology supply wins by Fingerprint Cards and Idex Biometrics, and a partnership between Onfido and FaceTec, meanwhile, set up continuing growth in payment cards and selfie biometrics for remote KYC, respectively.
Top biometrics news of the week
Physical credentials like passports and ID cards will not be entirely replaced by digital ones within the next ten years, according to a consensus of identity experts convened by the United Nations for a Private Sector Engagement Roundtable. Executives from Laxton Group, Panasonic and Hyland Credentials were among participants in an in-depth discussion on what legal identity is transitioning to, and at what pace.
The Philippines has enrolled the biometrics of 10 million people for its PhilSys digital ID system, and is preparing to issue the first wave of physical PhilID cards under the project. The online portal also surpassed 850,000 online registrants, and the government continues to urge people to sign up, and agencies and businesses to accept PhilID.
Canada has released its digitization plan for the next few years, which emphasizes the importance of open standards to foster a digital identity ecosystem that takes in the public and private sectors, and enables broad accessibility to government services secured with upgraded authentication methods and trusted digital identity frameworks. A new survey indicates that most people in the country want to be able to access government services online, meanwhile.
The UK government is continuing its work towards a unified digital ID for government service access, as Gov.uk matures. The details are currently vague, but an update from the Land Registry suggests a system moving towards biometric checks against documents like passports, carried out by or with the assistance of identity verification partners.
The government is also planning to introduce Electronic Travel Authorization to enhance the country’s border control measures. The plan includes an integration of digital ID with its updated visa system, which will enable remote issuance. The vaguely-worded plan is also reported to involve contactless biometric corridors, with iProov strategically positioned to supply the technology.
The fingerprint biometric modality remains a rapidly growing market, and is expected to grow at nearly a 15 percent compound annual rate over the next five years to $8.5 billion in analyses suggesting payment cards could be passed over for digital wallets. A pair of deals by Fingerprint Cards, one for biometric payment cards and one for PCs, show the market’s current momentum.
Another analysis says contactless cards will dominate payments for the next four years, and banks are turning to biometrics and other digital technologies as branch networks decline. Idex Biometrics announced it has received a volume order of its TrustedBio fingerprint sensors for biometric payment cards, meanwhile.
Innovations in forensic fingerprint biometrics have been developed, one a subsurface system from BitFlow and one developed by Sheffield Hallam University researchers and Israeli Police that may help crime scene investigators detect blood and DNA. BitFlow’s Frame Grabber system uses tomography to scan the “viable epidermis” of people with damaged or altered fingerprints, and has reached the prototype stage.
Onfido is launching a new identity platform and facial authentication solution, the latter using FaceTec biometrics and liveness. The new platform also includes enterprise-grade encryption, and is part of an overall effort to extend the value of the company’s core identity verification technology throughout the identity lifecycle.
In a cautionary tale, it turns out insurer Lemonade does not analyze customer’s faces with artificial intelligence to detect signals of fraud, contrary to a Tweet posted and since deleted by the company, Fortune reports. What Lemonade meant to Tweet, apparently, is that it uses face biometrics to catch claims submitted by the same person under different identities, not any kind of emotion recognition or hypothetical biometric lie detector.
Princeton Identity explains the importance of using the right access control technology for the situation in a blog post describing an incident just over a year ago in which residents of a seniors’ care facility with memory impairments used a side-channel attack to break out of their facility. Integrating biometrics into access control solutions can prevent such incidents while minimizing impact and inconvenience for staff and guests alike, the post argues.
The EU’s digital health pass is reaching operation for travel within the European Economic Area and Switzerland, though regulations have until July 1 to be enacted. Many details are left up to member states, but the interoperability standards behind the Green Pass may become de facto global standards.
Remote appointments and other digital first changes to healthcare have improved the efficiency and availability of care, but the building blocks of digital healthcare, including digital patient identities, are not yet in place, NextGate CTO Daniel Cidon writes in a Biometric Update guest post. Incomplete or otherwise inaccurate patient files are common, but with the introduction of blockchain and decentralized identifiers, patient data can be managed more effectively while improving privacy, he argues.
Blockchain and decentralized identifiers to preserve privacy are also foundational to the new Sovrin Wallet, which was developed in collaboration with Applied Recognition to bring biometric binding to self-sovereign identity (SSI) credentials. Representatives of Sovrin and Applied Recognition tell Biometric Update that the open-source wallet could be used for a wide range of applications.
Cameras made by Hikvision and Dahua were purchased by towns around the United States with public funds despite the companies’ U.S. business being restricted for their alleged involvement in repression of China’s Uighur minority, according to a TechCrunch report supported by IPVM. A board of education in Georgia spent almost half a million dollars on thermal cameras, which may not work anyway, last August.
The first use of Moscow’s facial recognition surveillance network to target peaceful protestors against Russia’s government took place in April, according to Foreign Policy. The development of NtechLab’s algorithm which powers the system was supported by IARPA, and procurement documents indicate U.S. chipmakers Nvidia and Intel may have been relied on for the storage and processing power, highlighting the dependence of the system on American technology.
Jean Salomon’s two-year term leading the European Association for Biometrics (EAB) is concluding, and he is returning to his security consulting practice, JSCP, on a full-time basis. Biometric Update will carry news of his successor with the organization when it breaks.
Please let us know about any interviews, podcasts or blog posts we should share with the people in biometrics and the global digital ID community in the comments below or through social media.