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Biometrics innovations and growing startups come with big money rumors, controversy

Biometrics innovations and growing startups come with big money rumors, controversy

The prospect of a high stakes deal involving Idemia and potentially also Thales piqued the curiosity of a lot of readers this week, while reaction to ID.me’s face biometrics deal with the IRS illustrates the hazards of the territory. Liminal sees a market that could be worth over $266 billion in five years in reusable digital identity, and as they develop that market, Tech5’s consideration of the progress of contactless fingerprinting technology and ID R&D’s of presentation attack detection were among the most-read news items of the week. Startups Global ID and IndyKite advanced with a vein recognition patent granted and a product launch accompanied by an $8 million funding round, respectively.

Top biometrics news of the week

A rumored deal that could shake up the biometrics industry is the most-read story of the week on Biometric Update this week, with sources telling Reuters that Idemia could be broken up and sold by parents Advent and Bpifrance, with part possibly even going to erstwhile rival Thales. Idemia could fetch between $3.4 and $4.6 billion, according to estimates.

ID.me’s contract to secure access to the IRS’s online services continued to draw criticism, though the case of the ‘inferred citizenship’ controversy seems to suggest that some of it is unfounded. A report suggested possible citizenship information in a vast database that could be made available to other government agencies by ID.me, but the company tells Biometric Update in an email that the privacy policy language the report refers to is there to comply with the CCPA. The IRS reversed course on using selfie biometrics, however, in favor of something closer to the GSA’s Login.gov, prompting ID.me to offer deletion of the photo data after signup, as well as more manual identity verification.

The current state of the art in contactless fingerprint biometrics and the modality’s prospects for widespread adoption are delved into in a sponsored post from Tech5. CTO Rahul Parthe sees the power and ubiquity of mobile phones enabling governments and others to utilize remote, unsupervised contactless biometrics with software like Tech5’s AirSnap line to reach more people at lower costs.

Without a moratorium on biometric and behavioral mass surveillance to block off wide-ranging exemptions, the EU risks the very kind of return to totalitarianism the European Convention on Human Rights was crafted to prevent, according to a report from the Greens/European Free Alliance. The paper also claims that biometric research focuses on predicting behavior.

Women in Identity’s report on identity exclusion, intended to be the first part of a Code of Conduct for the digital identity industry, has launched. Louise Maynard Atem, who leads research for the organization, tells Biometric Update in an interview how companies can put the report to use in their digital ID projects.

A U.S. patent for 3D vein pattern recognition and biometric identification has been granted to Global ID, and portends the company’s entry into the U.S. market during 2022. The method involves a series of images of veins and spoof detection based on their orientation.

IndyKite has launched its enterprise decentralized digital identity and granular authorization service, along with an open-source digital ID wallet. The company has also raised an additional $8 million in Seed financing to expand the company’s 60-strong team, and continue core platform and product development.

Reusable digital identity is already a $32.8 billion market, and could grow to $266.5 billion by 2027, according to a report from Liminal, driven by demand for interoperable credentials to streamline customer experiences from onboarding onward. The advisory sees public-private partnerships leading to full digital ID ecosystems.

New research from ID R&D shows how far ahead of human examiners automated systems are at detecting biometric spoof attacks. People made far more false negative and false positive matches than the company’s system, and took over four seconds longer per image. ID R&D will host a webinar on the research in partnership with Biometric Update on February 22.

Spoof detection technology helps ID R&D CSO Konstantin Simonchik avoid romantic disappointment in a promotional video showcasing a new potential use case for those who cannot always rely upon on the liveness of strangers.

Three different organizations appointed new Chief Executive Officers this week, with Patrick Höijer taking the helm at Precise Biometrics, Paul Trulove joining SecureAuth, and Joshua Allen assuming the role for Trust Stamp’s Malta and Rwanda subsidiaries.

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

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