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National digital ID and selfie biometrics for remote verification ramp rapidly



Government digital identity programs, along with face biometrics for secure remote transactions and KYC, continue to make headlines in the biometrics industry with new developments in the Philippines, Singapore, UK and UAE. Idemia has some ideas on how the U.S. can catch up, which fit with trends observed by Innovatrics, while BioID, Smart Engines and Sumsub have all struck deals to power remote identity verification. The next-generation FCode card from Idemia, in partnership with Zwipe and Idex Biometrics, also drew significant attention.

Top biometrics news this week

The advance of the Philippines national digital ID system towards its biometric registration stage drew a huge amount of attention on Biometric Update this week, after the opening of online registration was announced. The country’s National Statistician also published a statement touting the benefits of the PhilSys to the country and its nascent digital economy.

Digital identity work by the governments of Singapore, the UK and United Arab Emirates continues. The new MAS digital economy report emphasizes the importance of robust digital ID, while Gov.uk Verify will continue on life support for another 24 months. In the UAE, Lleida.net is the first provider certified to the country’s new digital ID system.

Idemia executives Matthew Thompson and Timothy Brown pitch the companies vision for digital identity based on biometrics and reference to existing DMV databases to slash fraud in an interview with Biometric Update. DMVs are working on launching mobile driver’s licenses, giving states new and better ways of delivering benefits remotely, with the trust of an in-person transaction.

Evidence of the long-term shift in account onboarding to include remote biometrics continues to mount, with a FICO survey on consumer banking and further industry tie-ups. BioID has signed up a Malaysian insurance customer, Smart Engines has scored a passport scanning deal with an airline, and Sumsub has won two new cryptocurrency customers for KYC, KYB and AML checks.

Rapid adoption of selfie biometrics by the telecom and banking industries for branchless operations and remote account opening, respectively, shows the potential of the modality to secure a whole range of consumer interactions over the internet, writes Innovatrics Director of Global Sales Peter Martis in a Biometric Update guest post. The challenges brought on by the pandemic have spurred contactless access control innovation with face biometrics, which could be implemented for everything from eSIMs to enhanced ATM security in the years ahead.

Digital identity progress is forcing the issue of who will be the ultimate custodians of identity data, Trulioo CTO Hal Lonas writes in an editorial for Global Banking & Finance Review. He compares concerns around self-sovereign identity, government-backed identity, and banks as identity guardians, and finds that the yet-to-be-determined answer is probably a solution involving both blockchain and biometrics, but in a usable and mainstream technology.

Using smartphone sensors to collect contextual data and behavioral biometrics avoids the challenges associated with using traditional biometrics with masks and gloves, UnifyID Founder and CEO John Whaley explains to Security Boulevard in an interview. Whaley makes familiar arguments for behavioral biometrics as a passive authentication factor, with physical biometrics as a step-up factor.

The next generation of Idemia’s FCode biometric payment card has been unveiled, integrating technology from Zwipe and Idex Biometrics like the first generation. The new version boasts the most complete integration, the fewest components, the lowest cost and fastest performance yet, the company says, with BioSE and Zwipe Pay ONE technologies.

The incredible acceleration of touchless biometrics and digital transformation implementation at airports was in focus during an interesting World Aviation Festival panel discussion moderated by Pangiam VP Simon Wilcox. In a further continuation of the trend, Vision-Box is working on an integration with Airside’s Health Passport App, and the upcoming Airport Show will have a particular focus on biometrics.

Digital health pass adoption continues to pick up pace, with the EU announcing plans to accept U.S. visitors with proof of COVID-19 vaccination. IATA’s Travel Pass and Daon’s VeriFly are being trialed by more airlines, and the UFC used Clear’s digital health pass for its recent event in Florida.

Still unable to wriggle free of its biometric data privacy challenges in Illinois, TikTok has been slapped with a similar suit alleging violations of Europe’s GDPR by a former regulator. A raft of violations are alleged, but a resolution is expected to take some time. ExamSoft, meanwhile, is attempting to remove its BIPA case to federal court.

A school district in North Carolina is pleased with its purchase of a camera system with face biometrics supplied by Verkada. The 60- cameras, $67,000 contract involving both a technology application and vendor that have seen some controversy covers 10 years.

Illinois lawmakers have moved to block federal agencies from accessing state records to perform biometric matches as part of immigration enforcement investigations. The resolution has passed the Senate, with its sponsor citing a lack of trust in government use of facial recognition.

Clearview AI has been named to Time’s inaugural 100 ‘Most Influential Companies’ list, in the ‘Disruptors’ category. Time claims that the company’s facial recognition is “used by thousands of U.S. police departments to pinpoint crime suspects,” is a seemingly stronger claim than its CEO’s that 3,100 law enforcement agencies have used it to provide leads.

Racial justice advocacy group Color of Change says Google should carry out a racial equity audit as it deals with the fallout of the acrimonious departure of two of its leading AI ethicists, Bloomberg Law writes. A letter from Color of Change to Google executives calls on the company to submit to a third-party review to improve its transparency and accountability.

IPVM claims in a new report that the Security Industry Association (SIA) Board of Directors has deep flaws, and has even been “effectively operating as a secret society.” Members are chosen all-or-none in “a Soviet-style election,” and once elected can be given 10 additional years, according to the report, and the Chairman selection process is far from transparent. The SIA responded by saying it has begun efforts to improve its member engagement and transparency.

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