Alternative approaches to mobile device biometrics on the rise
Good news-bad news for Samsung in one of the most-read stories on Biometric Update this week, with an ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor apparently working better than internal corporate cybersecurity controls. Cameroon’s ID cards are reaching citizens at a snail’s pace, even after they have enrolled their biometrics, Cognitec has been acquired, Thirdfort has raised funds, and Keyless executives explain why their approach to FIDO authentication provides benefits not previously available under the specification.
Top biometrics news of the week
Biometric algorithms are among the 200 gigs of compressed source code for Samsung mobile devices stolen by the same hacker group responsible for an attack on Nvidia. Authentication and bootloader code for all recent Samsung devices was taken, overshadowing news that the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor in the Samsung Galaxy S22 is delivering strong performance.
Cameroon’s biometric ID card issuing process has gone slowly, and an in-depth report examines the extent of the problem, why it has arisen and what can be done. The government has taken charge of the issuance of the Thales-designed cards, but a planned ramp-up in production announced over a year ago appears yet to have occurred.
Biometric ID cards are about to start rolling out in Jamaica, with an issuance pilot in two population centers. Pakistan’s NADRA has expanded its enrollment coverage with 88 new centers, meanwhile, and India is encouraging people to sign up children below the age of five for a Baal Aadhaar digital ID.
The challenge of applying the sanctions levied in retaliation for Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine is a digital identity challenge, dependent on KYC and KYB processes usually intended to detect money laundering for drug cartels and terrorist organizations. The tools at the disposal of the powerful and the difficulty of uncovering their assets is shown by the Mossack Fonseca affair.
The funding influx continues with Thirdfort picking up $20 million in Series A funding after increasing its biometric KYC and AML client base by over 20 times in just over a year. The company is building its platform to provide professional organizations with source-of-funds checks on both individuals and businesses.
Facial recognition is being applied to the identification of people appearing in online content purporting to be from the war in Ukraine, Wired reports. Open source intelligence on the war is abundant, between strong cell coverage, online biometric services and trapped citizens, but untrained online sleuths could easily be led astray by poor image quality.
Cognitec has been acquired by physical access control and digital ticketing provider Salto, which the German face biometrics provider says will allow it to extend its capabilities, market reach and business network. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Cognitec will operate under the Salto Group umbrella.
Thailand is carrying out a digital transformation project that includes digital identity services for cross-border interoperability from Mastercard, with benefits explained by the company’s VP of Digital Identity Rajat Maheshwari in an email to Biometric Update. The National Digital ID platform is also expanding its identity verification coverage following a successful Phase 1 pilot.
Yoti has joined the Global Coalition for Digital Safety at the World Economic Forum, a public-private group mostly consisting of government, civil society and digital safety organizations. The group pursues the goal of a safer internet for all users, and Yoti will contribute its perspective on age controls.
A panel of speakers from different stakeholders from across Canada’s digital identity ecosystem, including representatives of DIACC, payment network Interac, and SecureKey were brought together to present the current state of affairs to those involved in the country’s policy. Canada is behind in letting people share trusted digital identities through mobile phones, but progress is being made in the development of a privacy-preserving system.
The combination of FIDO2 and FIDO Biometric Component certification gives Keyless’ customers assurance of the effectiveness of the company’s approach to performing biometric authentication on a distributed network rather than locally, Co-founder and CTO Paolo Gasti and VP Product Gal Steinberg tell Biometric Update in an interview. The approach brings techniques to smartphones that are otherwise beyond their processing power.
Several U.S. States are following in Illinois’ footsteps by moving towards biometric data privacy laws that establish private rights of action. Florida’s legislation is advancing through the process, while bills in Kentucky and Maryland would both specifically regulate biometrics, and could result in numerous lawsuits.
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