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Advanced biometric technologies and new market entries tackle fraud, chase digital ID billions


Biometrics and digital ID

Amid forecasts of rapid growth and huge market potential, digital ID platforms launches by Techsign and Ping Identity, new services, features and even an investment fund have been launched. A new camera solution for under-display 3D face biometrics from Infineon and partners, and IPO filings by Clear and SenseTime show parallel investment activity in biometrics, meanwhile, and experts from Veridium and Intellicheck provide insight into the shifting technology and fraud landscapes, among the most widely-read stories this week on Biometric Update.

Top biometrics news of the week

Several areas of the digital identity market continued to be very active, with a new investment fund launched to support startups in digital commerce and payments, Yoti joining a regulatory sandbox, Techsign launching a digital ID platform, and Mastercard and b.well reporting positive results from a recent pilot for their biometric healthcare platform. All this activity contributes to explaining Juniper Research’s forecast of rapid growth in the sector to $16.7 billion in 2026, driven largely by spending on remote onboarding.

Okta CEO Todd McKinnon, meanwhile, told Barron’s that the total addressable market for identity and access management providers like Okta is something like $80 billion, as well as that effective integration is the key to solving biometrics challenges in the space. Entrust and Yubico formed an integration partnership, LoginRadius launched a new feature, Jamf launched a biometric tool for enterprises, and a certification program for IAM professionals was launched.

A list of goods for sale on the dark web includes a listing for selfies holding an American ID credential, which in theory could be used in a biometric spoofing attack. Cybersecurity researcher Luana Pascu helps guide readers through the report, and shares insights such as on the status of faked vaccination certificates on dark web marketplaces.

Ensuring the validity of the ID document a biometric identity verification process is based on, without adding too much friction, often means adopting layered risk profiling, Intellicheck CEO Bryan Lewis tells Biometric Update in a sponsored post. The company has deep roots in detecting fraudulent documents and has found that even scanning the barcode on an identity document will not necessarily catch a fake if the unique security elements are not validated as part of the scan.

Fourthline Anti-Financial Crime Head Ro Paddock writes in a Biometric Update guest post about the ever-increasing sophistication of fraud attacks, which reached the level of computer-generated 3D masks and deepfakes during the pandemic,. In response, information-sharing between organizations will be necessary to understand the scope of these new threats, and how to defend against them.

Philippines’ election commission has launched an app to allow people to preregister for the voter roll online before enrolling their biometrics in person, as the country continues digitizing its public services. Governments in Pakistan, Haiti and Nigeria are also making moves to improve the accessibility and trustworthiness of their electoral processes.

A partnership between Research ICT Africa and the Centre for Internet and Society, supported by the Omidyar Network, to explore the development of digital ID systems for the African context is explained in a blog post. The project will be based on an adaptation of the Evaluation Framework for Digital Identities which the CIS used to assess India’s Aadhaar system, with rule of law, rights and risk-based tests, and presented in a series of posts.

Details of Clear’s IPO plans emerged, including its intention to raise up to $396 million on the NYSE. The $2.2 billion valuation aligns with some comparable companies, by revenue multiple, but the lower voting power of the shares on offer could be a restraining factor.

An even bigger IPO could be held by SenseTime later this year, with the Chinese AI firm looking to raise up to $2 billion on the Hong Kong exchange. The company has been talking about a public stock launch since before the company was hit with restrictions to U.S. trade, which it indicates have had little impact.

The latest major funding round in digital identity is the largest yet, with Transmit Security raising $543 million at a $2.2 billion valuation to expand the market reach of its passwordless biometric authentication technology. The company claims it is the highest ever Series A funding round in cybersecurity.

Bob Eckel, Aware CEO and International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA) Director and Board Member, discusses why people should own their own identity, identifying things and protecting supply chains, and his background in setting up air traffic control systems used all over the world with the Requis Supply Chain Next podcast. In the longer term Eckel sees biometric replacing passwords, and in the shorter term being used to make processes touchless.

Veridium CTO John Callahan guides Biometric Update through recent NIST guidance on the interoperable use of contactless fingerprints with contact-based back-end AFIS systems. The guidance, which changes definitions within the NIST ITL biometric container standard, but advises that the associated image quality metric does not apply to contactless prints, could spark further investment in the modality.

A new time-of-flight 3D imaging solution that could be used to implement facial authentication from under the display of mobile devices without notches or bezels has been developed by partners Infineon, pmdtechnologies and ArcSoft. Based on the REAL3 sensor and ArcSoft’s computer vision algorithms, the solution is expected to reach availability in Q3 2021.

Ping Identity has acquired SecuredTouch in a deal with undisclosed financial details to integrate its behavioral biometrics-based continuous user authentication with the PingOne enterprise cloud platform. Ping also launched a consumer application for reusable credentials and added unified management features to its cloud platform at its Identiverse 2021 event.

Notre Dame-IBM Technology Ethics Lab Founding Director Elizabeth Renieris joins the MIT Sloan Management Review’s Me, Myself and AI podcast to discuss the role of the lab, her path past and through some of the digital identity space’s key ethical developments, and the need to take the long view on technology to understand its ethical implications. Renieris makes a pitch for process-oriented regulations, based on the best understanding we have at the time.

ProctorU’s announcement that it will no longer sell fully-automated remote proctoring services is seen as a win in the battle against “the AI shell game” by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The descriptions of the balance between the automated and human decision-making by AI proctoring providers amount to doublespeak, the EFF says, before panning their human review processes, accuracy rates, and use of facial recognition.

Please let us know of any podcasts, articles or other content you think we should share with the biometrics industry and digital ID community in the comments below or through social media.

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