Biometrics R&D leads to product updates, published patents, advancing digital wallets
Biometrics are recommended to deal with SIM swaps separately by the FBI and Veridas, while digital identity programs are advancing in Australia and Singapore, in the latter case in collaboration with Thales, among the most-read Biometric Update articles of the week. Digital wallets and other digital identity infrastructure appear to be a likely part of the legacy of the pandemic’s disruption, as is increased adoption of contactless technologies like the facial recognition being developed by Paravision and a new verification terminal Global ID is seeking a patent for.
Top biometrics news of the week
State, territory and federal governments have agreed to work together as Australia works towards establishing a national digital ID system, which may include a range of different options available in different parts of the country. Australia is also working towards age verification for online pornography. In Western Australia, an updated Digital Strategy Roadmap provides some details on how the introduction of digital ID fits in with the overall digital transformation vision.
There are different kinds of digital wallets for payments, digital ID and cryptocurrency, with different characteristics. Columnist Heather Vescent breaks down the differences and suggests that the difficult, unglamorous work of ensuring interoperability is probably better than any kind of unified digital wallet.
Digital COVID credentials have returned to the headlines as governments begin turning off the systems they have set in place. Some of the infrastructure remains behind, however, and Zetes’ Geert Peeters argues can be put to use in mobile identity wallets. The EUDCC is considered a success, but also shows one piece of digital identity infrastructure that is still missing.
Measuring human features is common to biometrics and eugenics, which The Washington Post emphasizes, connects to COVID surveillance via a South Korean municipal program, and presents as a cautionary tale. There’s a “but” in the penultimate paragraph doing an awful lot of rhetorical work to hold the argument together, but of course caution is always warranted with powerful technology, as with pseudoscience.
Meta is facing another lawsuit over alleged biometric data privacy violations, this one in Texas, despite the state’s regulation not having a right of private action. AG Ken Paxton’s investigation of Facebook, launched in 2020, has resulted in an accusation that the company committed tens of millions of violations against Texas residents.
An agreement has been reached by employee management technology provider Kronos to settle its biometric data privacy brought under Illinois’ right of private action for $15 million. Lawsuits over the company’s ransomware incident, on the other hand, are just getting rolling.
Thales is establishing two research centers in Singapore through a public-private partnership, and hiring a team of 350 engineers in the extension of an existing collaboration. One of the R&D centers will focus specifically on digital identity and security technologies, including biometrics.
In a widely-misunderstood development, the Ghana Card has been confirmed to meet the standards for inclusion in the ICAO’s public key directory. The PKD is used by countries around the world to validate each other’s biometric travel documents, like passports, though approval for acceptance is up to individual nations.
Global ID has had a patent published in Europe for a digital ID verification terminal, which could be used in combination with the company’s vein biometrics. The system described interacts with chip-embedded digital identity storage objects, like cards, through an encrypted channel.
The FBI has issued a warning about the surge in SIM swap fraud, which has increased more than five-fold to $68 million in 2021, advising the use of biometrics and other security tools. Veridas offers guidance for biometrics deployments to guard against SIM swapping.
Paravision’s facial recognition algorithm that exceled in the recent NIST FRVT is now in production in the company’s fifth-generation product suite. The update also expands the implementation capabilities for the suite, with iOS support, and enhanced liveness on edge devices.
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