Face biometrics performance advances with new algorithm, benchmarks
Face biometrics testing takes an outsized place among the week’s top headlines on Biometric Update, while commercial progress and big-money deals continue at pace. FaceTec has a new algorithm it says represents a new state-of-the-art in face biometrics, and the DHS Rally results show the best-yet performance. Idex Biometrics will power payment cards for a German fintech, and Sri Lanka is moving ahead with its MOSIP-based digital ID system. BehavioSec is the latest biometrics provider to be bought up, and Synthesis AI is the latest startup unveiling a multi-million dollar funding round.
Top biometrics news of the week
Sri Lanka is about to begin capturing biometrics and issuing national digital ID cards, based on its SL-UDI system and the MOSIP platform, a government official has revealed, with the recent completion of the preparatory stage. Meanwhile, Bhutan is a fifth of the way through its biometric digital ID registrations, thousands of refugees from Myanmar in India are getting ID cards, and Monaco’s IN Groupe-produced digital ID has won an industry award.
The example provided by the EU Digital Wallet for nations in Africa and elsewhere implementing mobile identity management for social development-related benefits was the subject of the final ID4Africa livecast event before the return of the Movement’s flagship annual meeting. Upcoming pilots will be watched closely for lessons on interoperability, but panelists also warned that Africa’s digital ID stakeholders need to hold themselves to their transparency and data protection commitments.
Tech giants Apple, Google and Microsoft stepped up their commitment to increasing adoption of sign-in options that eschew the password on the ninth World Password Day, enabling automatic FIDO sign-ins on multiple devices without re-enrolling each account. The increased support for FIDO and W3C standards is intended to spark passwordless authentication adoption.
A new report for the NIST FRVT 1:N ongoing test has been published, showing mostly-unchanged results for the top-performing algorithms, but the gradual increase in systems creating templates for multiple faces from a single image continues. The latest update comes just as FMI forecasts a $22.5 billion global market for facial recognition a decade from now, up from just over $5 billion today.
FaceTec provides 3D face biometrics, which therefore are not included in the NIST benchmark, so the developer is engaging with the UK Age Check Certification Services for independent testing. FaceTec says its latest algorithm delivers an FAR of 1 in 125 million, an improvement of over 876 percent over its previous generation and almost ten times that over the leading result in the FRVT.
The anonymized 2021 DHS Biometrics Rally results are out, and show significant accuracy gains in accuracy for high-throughput systems. Those gains include 100 percent match rates for some combinations of hardware and software, and no demographic differentials for some vendors, but other vendors still have significant room for improvement.
Synthesis AI took in $17 million in a Series A financing round and plans to develop products for particular verticals, and its CEO has called out the potential for synthetic data to improve face biometrics. The funding will be directed to product research and development, team growth, and further research around its specialities of AI, procedural generation, and video effects rendering.
A German online bank has selected Idex Biometrics to provide it with biometric payment card technology, as Europe continues to lead other regions in engagement. The company also confirmed its preliminary results, including a dramatic growth in revenues, in its 2021 annual report.
The mobile version of Norway’s popular BankID is slated for eventual replacement with apps that provide biometric security, possibly next year. The current version of the digital ID authentication platform was built over a decade ago, and does not accommodate virtual SIMs.
LexisNexis acquired BehavioSec for an undisclosed amount, and will build technology into its ThreatMetrix fraud prevention platform. BehavioSec’s mobile capabilities will round out ThreatMetrix’ browser-based cybersecurity functions, but the company’s behavioral biometrics will also be offered as a standalone solution for smaller organizations.
David Birch lays bare the problem of digital fraud and the urgent need for digital identity. His argument links skyrocketing fraud rates to lost tax dollars and increased service fees, and with an estimated $49 billion in fraud expected in 2030, and banks taking the position that account-to-account fraud, if authorized by the customer, is not fraud, consumers may have to more actively fight for secure digital ID.
Finally, congratulations from all of us at Biometric Update to Biometrics Institute CEO Isabelle Moeller on 20 years with the organization. The Institute just launched a new Privacy Awareness Checklist for members.
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