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Flurry of national ID, border control biometrics, digital wallets projects advance

Flurry of national ID, border control biometrics, digital wallets projects advance

Biometrics contracts from governments worth millions of dollars are being tendered, planned and carried out in headlines this week to support national digital identity programs, border control systems and cross-border transactions. Elsewhere, Thales and Digidentity weigh in on the future of digital identity wallets, Tech5 was the week’s big multi-million dollar fundraiser, and Saviynt and IdRamp executives each arrive at decentralized digital identity systems from different perspectives.

Top biometric news of the week

EU Digital Identity Wallet Consortium has been formed in the run-up to both contracts for pilots expected to be worth $40 million and the launch of eIDAS 2.0 next year. Thales also released a white paper on the topic as it positions itself, and a prototype from the eWallet Network was demonstrated the recent London OIX event. A Digidentity executive said in a Liminal podcast that the eIDAS update as part of a major step towards international interoperability.

Bids are being accepted now to supply 300 biometric registration kits and 15 mobile kits for Ethiopia’s national digital ID program. The Bahamas plans to roll out its own digital ID system next year, while the United Arab Emirates and Philippines announced updates to their programs.

Cameroon’s Ministry of External Relations has contracted Cote d’Ivoire-based Impact Palmarès R&D to build a biometric visa application system, as part of the country’s upgrade to its travel document issuance system. The company will provide document production equipment and training, and issuance is scheduled to begin June 1.

Government contract wins for Veridos, Deloitte and Idemia were also revealed.

Requirements for biometric data collection common to visa processes is being relaxed by Canada to accommodate refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine and resumed in Czechia for Russians and Belarussians. The UK government is under fire for not relaxing requirements for refugees from Ukraine or Afghanistan.

Businesses with identity-centric security models will set themselves up for success in the fight against sophisticated fraud, even as the best practices change, writes Saviynt VP for Analyst Relations and Customer Advocacy Ravi Erukulla, who is also chair of Identity Management Day in a Biometric Update guest post. Changes happening right now include adoption of behavioral and physical biometrics and decentralized systems.

IdRamp CEO and Founder Mike Vesey takes on the controversy around the IRS’ use of face biometrics to protect against fraud in another guest post. Vesey advocates for an emphasis on architecture that combines biometrics with verifiable credentials and identity orchestration, for a decentralized system.

The American National Institute of Standards and Technology is expanding its touchstone Face Recognition Vendor Test to the evaluation of presentation attack detection algorithms. The new NIST FRVT PAD test will be based on the ISO/IEC 30107 standard, and is open to all biometrics developers. Comments are sought on the process until April 26.

The importance of the ISO 30107 PAD standard is also emphasized by BioID in a brand focus article which addresses several misconceptions around presentation attacks and biometrics liveness detection. The standard is followed by national lab-accreditation bodies, meaning that the PAD compliance tests, performed by more than a half-dozen labs around the world, all mean the same thing.

Tech5 has raised $10 million to fuel its expansion and further develop its contactless biometrics portfolio. The company unveiled plans for increasing its footprints in both Europe and the Middle East. Online biometric security technology provider Videosign has raised $1.4 million to build out its platform, which features facial recognition and electronic signatures.

The settlement Jumio signed in a previous biometric data privacy lawsuit protects client WeWork, a federal judge has confirmed. Meta will have to defend itself at trial from the claims of non-users appearing in photos, while a bid by Google to have claims against it over children’s biometric data dismissed will likewise have to be heard at trial.

Meanwhile, concerns held by groups like EDRi about the European Union’s plans for Prüm international biometric data-sharing system are reviewed by Wired. The article suggests that European Data Protection Superviser Wojciech Wiewiórowski’s recent comments and the EC’s reaction seem to indicate more safeguards may be written in.

Nigeria has found a compromise to avoid shutting down the mobile phone accounts of millions of people at the recent deadline for linking SIMs to the national digital ID, blocking outgoing calls for those not yet registered. The deadline had already been extended since December, 2020, and 125 million SIMs are linked to NINs.

Please take a moment to let us know if you spot an editorial, podcast or other content we should share with the people in biometrics and the broader digital identity community through the comments below or social media.

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