Biometrics providers stake out facial recognition, fingerprint sensor market positions
The interoperability of digital wallets and health passes, smart city biometrics, truly inclusive national digital ID systems and the fight against child trafficking were among the focuses of the most widely-read articles on Biometric Update over the past week.
Technology providers continue to vie for share in the hot market, meanwhile, with highlights including Paravision’s facial recognition launch, progress on biometric payment cards for Idex Biometrics, Zwipe and Linxens, multimillion dollar government contracts for Trust Stamp and NEC, and a big week for Fingerprint Cards with card authentication technology breakthrough and a PC deal.
Top biometrics news of the week
Paravision unwrapped a whole series of new computer vision capabilities and tools for biometrics deployments under the name ‘Converge 2021.’ The new features extend Paravision face biometrics to mobile phones, ease edge deployments with new hardware reference designs, introduce one-to-many search and person detection tools, and upgrade its cloud technology for video streams. The company’s CPO Joey Pritikin and COO Benji Hutchison explained the significance of the step, and how Paravision got there, to Biometric Update in an interview.
Fingerprint Cards and Infineon have partnered to develop a way of carrying out biometric authentication within the secure element of a fingerprint-enabled payment card. This could both make card design simpler and more flexible, and lower production costs. Meanwhile FPC and Next Biometrics have signed deals to integrate their fingerprint technologies into desktop and notebooks PCs, respectively.
Idex Biometrics technology has been selected for ‘cold wallet’ biometric payment cards for China’s digital currency being developed with six banks. Zwipe signed up another payments partner for its biometric card platform, and at London Identity Week Linxens Group VP of Marketing Franck Germain provided forecasts reflecting the product area’s rapid growth.
Digital wallets have a critical role to play in ensuring the interoperability and data security of Europe’s proposed regional digital ID system, Protokol CEO Lars Rensing writes in a Biometric Update guest post. If EU Member States all develop their digital wallets individually, as could happen under the proposed framework, Rensing warns they should do so using common resources like the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure’s reference library.
Emirates says it is leading in the breadth of its deployment of the IATA Travel Pass, as well as in increasing its traveler capacity with biometrics and self-service technologies, and Brazil is undertaking an initiative to make similar changes towards single token biometrics use in its airports. A panel at NEC Visionary Week 2021, meanwhile, emphasized the importance of removing quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers to the aviation sector’s recovery.
The black market for fake proof of COVID vaccination is heating up, and Shufti Pro Customer Success Manager Sarah Amundsson explains the issue and what can be done to address it in a guest post. Fake digital health passes are already a full-blown industry in 29 countries, making automated verification a practical necessity.
Two facial recognition contracts involving law enforcement groups with histories of controversial biometrics deployments have been signed on either side of the Atlantic. Trust Stamp has won a $3.9 million contract with the U.S. Department of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to have its facial recognition deployed to migrant detention centers for six months or 10,000 people (at an implied price of $390 each), whichever comes first. NEC has won a facial recognition contract with London’s Metropolitan Police worth roughly $4.2 million, to supply historic (or forensic) matching against CCTV feeds.
A new plan for smart city technology adoption, including biometrics, is part of the Emerging Technology Charter update from London Mayor Sadiq Khan. The latest update is intended to help the city recover economically from the pandemic by utilizing data, and includes plans for a framework for facial recognition use.
An MIT Technology Review look at the use of facial verification in government pandemic unemployment benefit programs to prevent fraud starts with the obvious point that people need to look the same for this method to work well. New York University Assistant Professor of Data Policy Anne L. Washington suggests later in the article, however, that “(t)he problem is that governments get some kind of technology and it works 95 percent of the time—they think it’s solved.”
ID4Africa held its second livecast event of the season, and 20th since they started, examining the place of digital public goods and open source technologies in government ID systems. Country reports followed from Kenya, where Huduma Namba legislation remains pending, and South Africa, where the National Identification System continues to evolve.
Researchers with South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have recommended a combination of ear shape, iris and fingerprint biometrics to verify the identity of infants as the country continues to fight both child trafficking and welfare fraud.
Garry Harrison is the new CEO of Oaro, and will lead its blockchain-based enterprise IAM strategy. New executives have also been hired by Socure, with Scott Slipsy joining as CPO to lead the growth of its team as the company scales up its identity verification and fraud prevention customer base, and Secret Double Octopus, which welcomes Horacio Zambrano as CMO to lead go-to-market efforts for its passwordless multi-factor authentication.
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