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Innovation, funding and acquisition position biometrics providers for growth

Controversy engulfs government projects
Innovation, funding and acquisition position biometrics providers for growth

Government biometrics projects involving passports, identity verification and border control are generating controversy this week, with Techno Brain and ID.me each forced to defend themselves. Positive developments were announced by businesses positioning themselves for growth, as Samsung revealed a new IC for biometric payment cards, IBT made an acquisition to strengthen its software capabilities, and video selfie biometric providers Veriff and Identomat each announced impressive funding rounds.

Top biometrics news of the week

A cancelled biometric passport contract in Malawi appears to have led to the detention of a Techno Brain employee in Malawi, in a situation Biometric Update has struggled to find reliable information on. The company says it has filed a legal appeal, and the sensational allegations do not appear to have been publicly answered by the government.

The use of facial recognition from ID.me by U.S. tax agency IRS has exploded in sudden controversy, despite being reported months ago by Biometric Update, with a cybersecurity expert panning the user experience of the digital identity verification process for online tax filing service access, and media reports raising a laundry list of concerns. The defense from ID.me revealed iProov as an ID.me biometric technology provider, in addition to Paravision.

Deepfake technology can be used in several different ways to commit fraud against the financial industry, iProov SVP of Product and Marketing Aarti Samani writes for FinTech Futures. Samani outlines how deepfakes can be used in attack methods like ghost fraud and synthetic identity creation.

The Canadian Border Services Agency discussed plans to integrate facial verification with NEXUS kiosks to speed customs processes in a recent news report, but experts and advocates are calling for caution. An alleged false positive facial recognition match in an immigration case is adding to the concerns.

The TSA and CBP are planning to continue working together towards enhancing traveler privacy in the year ahead, agency leaders said in a discussion at the recent FTE Global, while Idemia and Iris ID each see more biometrics deployments coming. The rapid growth ahead for biometrics in China’s airports indicated in SITA’s recent Air Transport suggests where many of those will be.

Experts from the biometrics research community weighed in on a recent RFI from the White House on biometric technologies, emphasizing the role of science in sorting through conflicting claims. John Howard of the MdTF also points out that the technologies behind identification and inferring emotion are too dissimilar to be considered together, and Duane Blackburn of MITRE urges OSTP to follow existing policy and definitions.

While we may not know exactly what the metaverse will be like, history and recent announcements suggest that Facebook will be trying to serve us with highly-targeted advertisements, which may even make use of our biometric data. The increased interaction the medium promises entails an increased pool of biometric data companies can draw on, and all of the attendant risk to privacy and cybersecurity.

A newly-developed integrated circuit combining a fingerprint sensor, secure element and processor is the first indication of Samsung’s intentions in the biometric payment cards market since it signed an MOU with Mastercard last year. The IC includes anti-spoofing technology, and is also intended for access control cards, the company says.

IBT has acquired Tailored Solutions Corporation to expand its back-end adjudication software and strengthen its bids for state biometric background check contracts, as CEO Charles Carroll explains in an interview. Biometric kiosks that connect to live agents for help and more RAP BACK-style offerings are coming from the combined company.

Digital identity companies raising $100 million could start a club, and Veriff could be its newest member, raising funds at a $1.5 billion valuation to spend on growth acceleration, R&D and product development. Startup Identomat picked up $3.2 million in a seed round, and like Veriff specializes in selfie videos for biometric authentication.

The impact of remote services on digital identity and even further overlap between identity proofing and authentication are among 5 predictions for digital identity in 2022 from Daon Americas President Conor White in a guest post. Changes are coming in biometrics adoption as well, according to White.

Please share any blog posts, podcasts or other content we should pass along to the people in biometrics and the broader digital identity community in the comments below or through social media.

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