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Online biometric authentication and interoperability talks to advance digital identity ecosystems

Online biometric authentication and interoperability talks to advance digital identity ecosystems

Another major biometrics funding announcement, this one in support of Beyond Identity’s passwordless technologies including behavioral biometrics, cracks the top stories of the week on Biometric Update, along with advancing and interoperable digital ID systems, and controversies related to automated biometric identification systems. Deloitte has won a contract to create a national digital identity app, likely with biometric authentication, Dermalog is supplying technology to the Dominican Republic to enhance border controls, and NEC Africa alleges its bid on a government ABIS project did not receive fair consideration. The latest signals from Apple, meanwhile, suggest the next generation of iPhones will not feature support for biometric MFA through under-display fingerprint scanners.

Top biometrics news of the week

Deloitte has won the contract for the UK’s One Login online access control system for government services through digital ID. A $6.6 million tender published last October for a digital identity check app suggested the use of biometric authentication, and the native app is expected to scan biometric data from ID documents through NFC.

Trust Frameworks are taking on increasing prominence as countries stand up or upgrade their digital ID programs, and Open Identity Exchange Chief Identity Strategist Nick Mothershaw advises policy-makers to ensure they are crafted first and foremost to serve end-users in a guest post for Biometric Update. A framework for frameworks could help ensure interoperability.

Eight countries are moving towards interoperable digital ID, according to a new report from the Singapore DGX Digital Identity Working Group, made up of Australia, Canada, Finland, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, the Netherlands, and the UK. The report offers eleven interoperability principles, from openness to effectiveness assessments.

The development of digital identity ecosystems is one of the top 10 government technology trends forecast by Gartner for 2022. The market research firm sees at least a third of national governments and half of all states in the U.S. launching mobile digital identity wallets by 2024.

A lawsuit over an ABIS project in South Africa has been initiated by NEC Africa, which says an audit shows the near-$27 million Home Affairs contract with local firm EOH should be set aside and all payments reversed. The case could have significant implications for Idemia, which was subcontracted and then took over the project from EOH.

The Dominican Republic has begun building a border wall with Haiti equipped with biometric surveillance capabilities provided by Dermalog is being built by the former. The border control apparatus is intended to connect to the Dominican’s ABIS system to help combat problems like smuggling and drug trafficking.

The EU’s Prüm II system could result in every driver’s license holder in the bloc becoming part of a huge international face biometrics database, Statewatch warns in a new report. The database could also be extended to include the EU without parliamentary scrutiny, despite Brexit.

An even larger state following Illinois with BIPA-style biometrics regulation is surely a possibility that has already caused sleepless nights for businesses using the technology, even prior to just such a proposal being introduced into California State Senate. Massachusetts for its part is considering legislation modeled on the California Consumer Privacy Act, as tremors continue to rattle the U.S. regulatory landscape.

Privacy regulations and the increased adoption of video surveillance with applications like law enforcement automation and autonomous vehicles will drive further growth in video redaction, Pimloc CEO Simon Randall explains in an interview. The biggest factor, however, may be a better appreciation by businesses of how to protect their reputation.

The long-awaited return of Touch ID to the iPhone in the form of under-display sensors will not arrive with the next generation of Apple smartphones, after an implementation attempt was abandoned by the tech giant, according to report. A feature in iOS 15.4 beta testing would require iPhone users to look at the device for the periocular version of Face ID to kick in, though as the accompanying item shows, rumored features often do not make production roll-outs.

Beyond Identity raised $100 million in its Series C funding round to become the latest digital identity unicorn. The passwordless MFA and behavioral biometrics provider plans to expand into new markets and advance its R&D. Nok Nok Labs Co-founder Taher Elgamal joins the Beyond Identity Board.

Please let us know about any interviews, editorials, podcasts or other content that you think should be shared with the biometrics and broader digital identity community in the comments below or through social media.

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