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Deals for biometrics providers across market segments presage further adoption

Deals for biometrics providers across market segments presage further adoption

A pair of biometrics deployments, one by ImageWare for a law enforcement customer and one by Mastercard for a payment card with Thales and Fingerprint Cards’ technology are among the top stories of the week on Biometric Update. Market momentum is also reflected in a fund-raise at a valuation of over a billion dollars for Incode, and a pair of significant acquisitions – 4Stop by Jumio and Evernym by Avast.

Top biometrics news of the week

The long awaited mainstream breakthrough of biometric payment cards will happen in the new year, the Smart Payment Association forecasts, as pilots advance to commercial rollouts and the technology is standardized. Research produced by Fingerprint Cards shows a solid majority of card users are ready to switch now, with a large minority motivated enough to pay extra.

Foreshadowing the shift, a Mastercard deal to supply credit cards with fingerprint biometrics from Thales and FPC has reached the commercial availability phase. Jordan Kuwait Bank is bringing out the first biometric World Elite Mastercard to reach general availability in the Middle East, and one of the first biometric payment cards worldwide to go into full production.

The World Bank, United Nations and Unique Identification Authority of India have reached an agreement to work on exporting the digital ID infrastructure underpinning the Aadhaar system to other nations. Aadhaar also continues expanding within India, with the UIDAI’s CEO revealing it is setting up an advisory board to bring the digital ID to different sectors.

The World Bank was also represented at the latest ID4Africa livecast, part 2 in a trilogy on the ‘dark side’ of digital identity, which delved into data-related risks and challenges. The digital exhaust of internet users, digital ID systems with single points of failure, and self-interested opportunism on the part of governments could cause dramatic harms, speakers warn.

Incode has raised $220 million at a $1.25 billion valuation, representing the second funding round in nine months and a tenfold increase in valuation in the past year for the company. CEO Ricardo Amper tells Biometric Update in an interview that Incode will bring its face biometric authentication and passive liveness detection to the healthcare market as identity verification and digital interactions are revolutionized.

Jumio has acquired 4Stop, already a strategic partner, to add the fraud prevention and orchestration provider’s data marketplace to its fast-expanding KYX Platform. The deal continues Jumio’s shift from IDV provider to end-to-end digital identity orchestration platform.

Evernym has been acquired by Avast, giving the latter a trove of leading technologies and IP for user-controlled digital ID, and the former access to a massive consumer customer base. The numbers were not disclosed in either deal.

ImageWare CEO Kristin Taylor and SVP of Product Management and Sales AJ Naddell explain to Biometric Update in an interview why their company’s law enforcement biometrics deal with King County, Washington is the first of its kind for the company, but also a sign of the company’s new direction.

A patent application from Apple for provisioning a digital credential from one device onto another has been published, possibly including mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs) or electronic tickets. The provisioning system would not store the credentials itself, but would support end-to-end encryption among privacy and security protections.

Clearview AI has received notice that its patent filing for providing information about a person with facial recognition based on publicly-available internet data will be granted by the USPTO. The company’s CEO says it is the first patent of its kind to cover large-scale internet data use.

SecuGen VP of Sales Jeff Brown discusses the evolution of the touchless fingerprint biometrics market in an email interview for a sponsored post. The market has up until now had a gap, he says, for single-finger scanners.

Deloitte Global’s forecast for 2022 calls for scrutiny of facial recognition and other public-facing AI systems, with a chance of increasing regulation. The TMT Predictions also include crack-downs on algorithmic bias, and suggests one of four outcomes is likely for facial recognition regulation.

Surveillance measures that seemed necessary to combat a global public health may stick around long after the risk abates, and smart cities may be the place to find them, The Los Angeles Times writes. The article is centered around a smart city trial in South Korea, and notes that country’s extensive contact tracing system stopped just short of developing new facial recognition technology, but the privacy fears and benefits proposed are both couched in rhetoric and hyperbole.

Let us know about any content we should share with the biometrics community and people in digital identity in the comments below or through social media.

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