Biometrics providers face up to misconceptions, reputational harms and transparency barriers
Biometrics’ growth and maturation comes with reassessments and growing pains, as seen in the top headlines of the week on Biometric Update. Oosto and FaceTec are thinking about assessment of face biometrics beyond NIST, while Clearview has been fined again and Amazon’s answers are inviting further questions. Corsight addressed some potential benefits and challenges in a TV spot. In digital ID, The Bahamas is planning a national project to ease online interactions with the public and private sector.
Top biometrics news of the week
The government of The Bahamas has begun planning the implementation of its national digital ID system, which will eventually be used for both public and private sector transactions. The credential will be the sole source of official identity proofing, according to the plan. A government workshop to engage stakeholders kicked off the process.
Clearview has been fined again by a European data protection authority; in Greece this time. The fine is the same €20 million as the Italian DPA imposed, and as then, the company notes that it does not operate in the country or have customers there. Clearview is also being ordered to delete the data of Greek residents.
A response from Amazon to questions from a U.S. senator about video camera doorbell Ring has revealed that partnerships with law enforcement have increased five times over since late-2019. A process for consent-free data sharing with has been used 11 times this year. The company declined to offer the reassurance sought that it will not implement voice biometrics, among others.
A pair of leading facial recognition vendors have pointed out limits to the value of the world’s most well-known benchmark for face biometrics accuracy, the NIST FRVT. Oosto argues the practical challenges involved in video surveillance make it a very different animal from the kinds of applications NIST is testing for, and feedback from FaceTec to NIST on its presentation attack detection test proposal say it relies on an outdated standard and excludes 3D technologies.
A profile of Corsight AI on a BBC TV show about law enforcement depicted three different deployments of facial recognition, and CEO Rob Watts discussed the need to balance crime-fighting with privacy rights. He also restates the company’s claim of 50 pixels between the ears to get a match.
When Clear signed deals to provide expedited access lanes at various sports venues across the U.S., the company talked about its service in terms of being a platform. A recent report suggests that only 11 teams are currently using the biometric access control service, however, calling into question whether it will really be the second big growth area for the company.
Including a persistent and unique identifier in the EU’s digital ID could make it illegal in several countries, an EDRi representative explained during a recent online workshop. The EP’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy has suggested deleting the reference in the text of the framework proposal, among several changes to a key passage.
The Czech Republic has outlined its priorities for its term hosting the presidency of the EU, which includes some hints as to its plans for digital identity. The European Digital Identity Wallet, the Data Act an AI Act will be all receive special attention, even amidst crisis.
Lesotho is joining the ranks of countries registering mobile phone accounts with digital ID, launching its enrollment campaign. Namibia, meanwhile, began its enrolling mobile subscribers in June, with telecom MTC describing the process and benefits, saying it hopes to reach 2 million SIM cards registered.
Cameroon is launching biometric vaccination cards to help the country’s people travel internationally. In an interview with Biometric Update, the Head of Yaounde international vaccination centre Dr. Ntsobe Njoh Bolo Noh Yanne Emmanuel says demand for the cards is strong and feedback on the $15 cards has been positive so far.
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