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Fight over increasingly lucrative biometrics market spills into court

Fight over increasingly lucrative biometrics market spills into court

iProov is the latest winner in the biometrics investment sweepstakes, but is also being taken to court by FaceTec for alleged liveness detection patent violations in one of the industry’s most-read stories of the week. A new selfie biometrics partnership for Yoti and a new biometric passport supplied by IN Groupe reflect the market stakes. National digital ID projects are also advancing in Ethiopia, Malaysia and Greece, as are authentication technologies for the automotive sector with an innovation from LG Electronics and a pair of deals for Precise Biometrics.

Top biometrics news of the week

iProov made headlines twice this week; once for a set of allegations from FaceTec about improper use of protected liveness detection technology. In a lawsuit, FaceTec accuses its competitor of stealing intellectual property, and violating the terms of its biometric spoof bounty program. The plaintiff’s legal efforts will be led by its new CLO, and seek an injunction and damages.

The next day iProov announced a growth investment of $70 million from a Silicon Valley-based firm it plans to use scaling its biometric authentication and liveness detection technology in American and international markets.  A partner at Sumeru Equity Partners will join the company’s board. iProov also publicly denied the allegations from FaceTec.

Ethiopia and Malaysia are each planning to make their digital identity systems widely accessible to benefit citizens. Ethiopia’s planned digital ID card program is targeting 95 percent coverage within four years to help people access services and conduct cross-border trade, while a Malaysian government agency has stated an intention to issue digital identities and digital signature infrastructure to expand access to online services.

Greece is planning to extend its digital identity system from the vaccine certificate verification function it currently has to a full digital wallet solution storing digital IDs and mobile driver’s licenses. The GR Wallet is slated to launch within the next few months, and to eventually provide access to a wide range of services from the government and other institutions requiring identity verification.

The UK government is preparing to certify digital identity checking services from the private sector for use by employers and landlords assessing applicants, opening another front for identity verification growth. Identity verification providers are busy in the meanwhile, with a new partnership for Yoti, details of Blinking’s European expansion plans revealed, and iDenfy launching an enhanced phone verification tool.

LG Electronics has developed a system for drivers to start their vehicles with face biometrics, as well as perform driver monitoring and gesture recognition. Also in the automotive space, Precise Biometrics has struck two licensing agreements with original design manufacturers to provide its fingerprint algorithms.

Startup Somalytics has invented a capacitive sensor which it says offers new possibilities for gesture recognition, with an ultra-thin form-factor and the capability to detect a person at a distance. Meanwhile, a team of academic researchers has contributed a new method of gesture recognition to the field, with the intention of bringing the technology to consumer devices.

IN Groupe is providing the Seychelles with its first biometric passports, which are expected to be issued this year, and has been awarded for its past ID document work. An industry group honored IN Groupe’s work on France’s digital ID and also for Monaco’s Resident’s Permits.

An IPO with scaled-back ambitions was just the beginning for SenseTime stock, which doubled in its first days of trading. The obvious investor interest stands in contrast to the experience of many of the facial recognition and computer vision giant’s publicly-traded Chinese tech peers.

Mitek is the latest biometrics provider to be sued under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act, over the selfie biometric verification used by a ridesharing service customer. The customer alleges violations of BIPA’s informed consent requirements. Recent settlements reinforce the notion that the surest victors are the attorneys.

Women in Identity Co-founder and Executive Director Emma Lindley has been named a Member of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen of England for her contributions to inclusion and diversity in digital identity in the UK and around the world.

Please let us know of any content we should pass along to the people in the biometrics industry and broader digital identity community in the comments below or through social media.

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