Stage set for next round of secure access control biometrics adoption
Investments, patent activities, pilots and observations on the air travel industry all point to a coming wave of biometrics deployments. Millions in funding has been raised by Sentry Enterprises to manufacture enterprise biometric access control cards, and Anonybit has raised millions to secure sensitive data, including but not limited to biometrics. Patents from Yoti and Idemia I&S USA, and aviation insights from Vision-Box and SITA, and participation in pilots for a national ID program by Tech5 also highlight emerging opportunities.
Top biometrics news of the week
Sentry Enterprise’s plans to supply enterprises with physical and logical access control through its biometric SentryCards have advanced with a $13 million funding round and a strategic investment in a card manufacturing partner. Sentry ordered six-figure volumes of Fingerprint Cards’ biometric sensor modules last year, and with its X-Core investment, plans to scale its operations in 2022.
Anonybit has raised $3.5 million to build the customer base for its three products, including the just-unveiled Turnkey Authentication solution, and Co-founder and CEO Frances Zelazny tells Biometric Update in an interview that the potential customer base includes practically the entire digital identity industry. A password manager customer was announced for the new product, and more announcements are promised.
Tech5 is participating in a pilot of biometrics and other technologies with Ethiopia’s MOSIP-based National ID Program, providing biometric data quality assessment, de-duplication and more as details on the major foundational digital ID system continue to emerge. Zetes has also joined MOSIP as both a solution provider and technology or service partner, which are the two categories under the modular open-source system’s Partner Programme.
Statewatch is warning that post-Brexit UK could end up using some of the broadest and most data-intensive surveillance programs operating in the EU, without so much as a debate in Parliament. Secondary legislation is all that would be necessary for the UK to join the Prüm system for cross-border biometric database searches, leading to accusations of plans to eliminate accountability and rights protections.
Venezuela and Cuba appear to be deploying technologies from Chinese suppliers for social control through internet and digital identity systems, according to a report from Voice of America. These systems make use of biometrics and algorithms in service of surveillance and censorship, according to the report, which focusses on ZTE’s involvement in Venezuela’s digital ID card.
Jeff Lennon of Vision-Box makes the case that the biometrics and mobile technologies enabling touchless airport processes are also allowing travelers to dispense with paperwork and introducing Privacy by Design into air travel in a guest post for Biometric Update. The growing wealth of implementation experience and data from projects utilizing the ICAO’s DTC standards will be used to help those who have invested be ready as the industry restarts in 2022.
Sure enough, biometric boarding is expected to be used by half of airlines by 2024, and airports are expanding self check-ins with biometrics, according to SITA’s Air Transport IT Insights 2021. Airlines are also rushing to figure out how to check everybody’s digital health passes, and expect mobile apps, and to a lesser extent kiosks to be used.
Yoti has patented a new technique for preventing injection attacks against identity verification in web browsers, moving beyond the obfuscation of biometrics and other data. CTO Paco Garcia explains how the technology works, with cryptographic keys changing before the obfuscation can be reverse-engineered, to Biometric Update in an interview.
An Idemia Identity and Security USA patent application describes a method for accurately scanning content from ID documents, with document positioning feedback and composite images. Meanwhile, its France-based parent company has formed an R&D partnership with a national agency to work on data protection, cybersecurity and AI.
Letters to the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy in response to an RFI on biometrics have rolled in from Oosto, Clearview, the NYCLU, SIIA and ICIT, as well as Elizabeth M. Renieris and other academics. The letters provide some outline of the social debate, and are notably focussed on facial recognition.
Facial recognition was also in focus at a U.S. Senate intelligence committee hearing where DHS Intelligence and Analysis head candidate Kenneth Wainstein was grilled on transparency in using the technology.
A facial recognition app for automating school attendance by matching student’s faces as they enter the classroom developed by a student in Arkansas has won the 2021 Congressional App Challenge. Even more impressive, the win is the second in a row for eight-grader Veera Sai Joshik Unnam.
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