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Selfie biometrics implemented for tax credits, loans, could protect an endangered species

Selfie biometrics implemented for tax credits, loans, could protect an endangered species

Selfie biometrics are being used for identity verification by a wide range of applications, from online government services supported by ID.me, to deliveries of age-restricted goods supported by Veriff, and mortgage loans through the UK’s MyIdentity scheme. iDenfy is likewise supporting business and consumer loans, while Yoti describes another humanitarian application of ID verification, and authID launches a platform update for smoother biometrics capture.

Customer wins and partnerships

As previously reported by Biometric Update, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has begun requiring identity verification with selfie biometrics from people accessing services on its website.

As of summer 2022, accessing the IRS’s Child Tax Credit Update Portal will require identity verification through ID.me.

The update was supported by the Secure Access Digital Identity initiative (SADI) and unveiled in November, 2021.

Now that others have noticed, misinformation has begun to proliferate, prompting an IRS spokesperson to clarify to CNBC that the biometric identity verification process is not required to file a tax return.

“The IRS emphasizes taxpayers can pay or file their taxes without submitting a selfie or other information to a third-party identity verification company,” the agency said in a statement. “Tax payments can be made from a bank account, by credit card or by other means without the use of facial recognition technology or registering for an account.”

Many online applications and information services will require an ID.me digital identity, however.

Veriff has partnered with Starship Technologies to bring biometric authentication and re-verification to autonomous delivery services.

The companies say the partnership gives Starship the first fully autonomous end-to-end delivery service for age-restricted items. When the delivery robot arrives at its delivery destination, the person receiving the delivery gets a notification, and then uses Veriff’s biometric authentication to unlock it through the Starship Food delivery app, available on iOS or Android.

Bluestone Mortgages is the latest UK mortgage brokerage to join the MyIdentity scheme, coordinator Etive Limited has announced, as part of a pilot running from November of 2021 to December, 2022.

Bluestone is a specialist non-bank lender catering to self-employed, credit-impaired and contractor customers.

The MyIdentity scheme was trialed at 11 locations across the UK last year to ease the administrative burden associated with property sales.

End-user participants in the scheme make use of third-party identity verification service providers, based on the DCMS Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework, which is where the selfie biometrics come in.

iDenfy has been selected by non-bank lender Placet Group to provide AI-powered and human-supervised ID verification to prevent fraud and meet KYC and AML compliance requirements.

The Estonia-based Placet Group provides loans to businesses and individuals.

Digital ID could help in conservation efforts

Meanwhile, Yoti, in a blog post, says digital identity is crucial for people who intend to join the citizen community science network to report on the activities of ground hornbills in Zimbabwe, whose numbers and habitats are increasingly coming under threat from human activities.

The scenario is described in the third installment in a series of six write-ups on hypothetical uses of identity verification technology in different humanitarian and environmental settings from Yoti.

The post argues that a digital ID will be able to help identify hornbill monitors as bona fide and trusted individuals, in order to avoid including people with wicked intentions into the research community.

Once the individual applies to become a hornbill monitor, the conservation group sends a representative to authenticate the applicant’s identity and references and takes their photo. After the verification has been done, the applicant is then invited to join a messaging app group. The registered and biometrically authenticated monitor can then start keeping a record of the activities of ground hornbills in their area and then forward them to the conservation group for policy action.

The article adds that other conservation projects such as the South African Bird Atlas Project and the Mabula Ground Hornbill Project have used digital identity to identify citizen scientists in the past.

authID updates platform’s biometrics capture

Into this busy market authID.ai has launched an update to its Verified cloud-native facial biometrics platform.

Version 2.4 of Verified improves the biometric functioning of the platform with a selfie recapture capability to reduce false rejections with better-quality images, and in-browser quality analysis and feedback on aspects like facial position, expression, glare and lighting. The update also refreshes the user interface for a better user experience and enhances cross-device user authentication.

“This latest version of our Verified platform reflects our vision of delivering the absolute best in biometric identity authentication to businesses of all industries. The intuitive, low-friction, and convenient verification experience built by our expert team establishes the highest level of assurance and mutual trust,” comments Jeremiah Mason, SVP of Product of authID.ai. “We are committed to creating best-in-class, cloud-native security solutions and to scaling this cyber infrastructure to help customers across virtually any market segment combat the risks of password and identity fraud.”

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