Biometrics regulations and standards moving market
Push and pull on biometrics and related technologies from regulations and standards is one of the main through-lines of the most widely-read articles on Biometric Update over the past week. Idemia’s biometric payment card with Zwipe and Idex Biometrics technology has been approved as meeting the standards of Mastercard and Visa, and Utah’s GET Group-supplied mDL is gaining acceptance, while Vision-Box is pursuing expansions at and Smart Engines has been deployed to international airports. Hiring at Idemia North America and B-Secur and a new UK GDS appointment indicate which side is having greater effect on the overall market.
Top biometrics news of the week
Idemia’s biometric payment cards based on its F.CODE platform have reached full certification by both Visa and Mastercard, with the latter issuing a formal letter of approval for the technology. Partners Zwipe and Idex Biometrics, which contribute their technology to the cards, also say they stand to benefit from the certifications.
Idemia North America, meanwhile, has continued to build up its team with the appointment of Douglas Harvey as its new CTO. Harvey will focus on developing cloud solutions for U.S. government entities to deploy biometrics and ID security. The company also added Lisa Sullivan as SVP of Travel and Transport and Lisa Shoemaker as VP of Government Relations.
The World Economic Forum makes its case for the benefit of digital ID to developing economies in a white paper, identifying three accelerators for recovery from the economic damage of the pandemic. The accelerators are increased access to public and private-sector services and financial management for individuals, and to financing for business.
Banks are beginning to find value in biometrics beyond remote onboarding, Innovatrics Founder and CEO Ján Lunter writes in a guest post. Similarly, governments are catching up in their adoption of biometrics myriad uses from city hall to the border. Concerns like biased data continue to challenge customers, so Lunter provides tips for choosing a biometrics provider.
The UK government has set aside £400 million (roughly US$546 million) to fund GDS’ OneLogin SSO capability in its Autumn Budget, and plans to launch it in five months under the leadership of new GDS Director of Digital Identity Natalie Jones. The government is also working on a Gov.uk app with ID document-chip scanning and biometrics.
A UK government program is also helping Freevolt scale up its development of biometric smart card technology. Acceptance to the UK Scaleup Programme brings access to financing and assistance with planning for internationalization.
B-Secur has picked up $12 million to fuel the advance of its heartbeat biometrics into the U.S. market. Fittingly, the round was led by the company’s first U.S. investor, First Capital Ventures. A raft of new appointments accompanied the funding announcement.
Clearview AI has entered NIST’s FRVT, demonstrating strong accuracy across all use case categories and demographics in the latest update. CEO Hoan Ton-That tells Biometric Update in an email that the demographic breakdown included in the 1:1 Verification results are behind the company’s choice of that benchmark for their initial entry.
The data protection authority of the Canadian province of Quebec has declared the use of facial recognition with temperature detection systems impermissible under data privacy laws. The Netherlands DPA warned retailers against the use of facial recognition to prevent shoplifting, and a group of national data regulators published the modest results of their engagement with video conferencing vendors.
It would surprise many people to know that Canada experimented with voice biometrics at its U.S. border for decades, according to consulting firm Berkeley Research Group. An agreement between the Clinton and Chretien governments in 1996 resulted in a trial of identity verification through voice recognition and a PIN to enable night-time crossings at ports of entry that closed overnight in rural locations. The Canadian Border Services Agency says the technology had a 95 percent accuracy rate, but it was shut down in the aftermath of 9/11.
Pindrop’s Collin Davis and Mark Horne suggest voice biometrics as the path to passwordless logical access control, due to unique characteristics of the modality, and the shift in methods of interaction. Voice can not only be used for authentication simultaneous with delivering an instruction or making a request, it is increasingly used for remote engagements and interacting with new systems such as in automobiles and the IoT.
Vision-Box’ airport biometrics partners are thinking about expanding contactless traveler experiences, with a pilot project at Lisbon Airport and talks with stakeholders in the UAE. Elsewhere, Moscow’s SVO has deployed Smart Engines’ passport-scanning technology into 20 e-gates, and LAX is trialing reservations for TSA security checks.
Mobile driver’s licenses continue to advance in the U.S., with Utah’s mDL supplied by GET Group gaining legal acceptance for age checks on alcohol purchases, and Mississippi unveiling plans to launch its mDL along with a digital ID wallet that could also be used to store proof of COVID vaccination.
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