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Face biometrics providers considering expansion and tough questions

Face biometrics providers considering expansion and tough questions
 

Biometrics are reaching a crucial point in the adoption curve, with a Mastercard survey showing and a Juniper report forecasting that people are ready to use new technologies, and convinced of the main value proposition of biometric technology. People have privacy and security concerns, however, and a hacker group showed why this week. Facial recognition also made headlines for research from Herta and academics on look-alikes, a possible new regional HQ for NtechLab, and UK trust framework certification for Amiqus. NIST’s image quality standard is now on a timeline, meanwhile, and details emerged in IriTech’s search for a strategic investor.

Top biometrics news of the week

A Mastercard survey indicates that roughly seven out of ten consumers find biometrics easier and more secure than other authentication options, but just over half are willing to use the technology to save time. Nearly three-quarters expressed concern about who would end up holding their data. With digital payments increasing, however, biometrics are being used more frequently, with further room to grow.

A forecast from Juniper Research pegs the digital identity verification market at $11.6 billion this year, rising to $20.8 billion by 2027. Vendors need to focus on intelligent orchestration, Juniper says, which makes sense given the success Chaos Computer Club had spoofing six different video face biometric identity verification solutions. The hacker collective used a simple and inexpensive method to defeat each system.

The problem that identical twins pose to face biometrics systems is well known, but a team of researchers, one of them from Herta Security, identified “objectively” “ultra-similar” look-alikes that could confuse facial recognition algorithms. The physical similarities between doppelgangers are physically comprehensive, the researchers say, and their behaviors may resemble each other as well.

Turkey is printing a quarter of a million biometric passports for Hungary within the next year, and will also supply French passports, as the country avoids the worst affects of the global microchip shortage. Printing for the new biometric Turkish passport is also being moved in-country, and Turkey has issued 6.7 million national ID cards with chips so far in 2022.

IriTech is looking to establish a major partnership to explore the wide range of applications its biometric technology can be used for, CEO Dr. Daehoon Kim has confirmed to Biometric Update. The search for an investor to help the business scale could also lead to a sale, he says.

NtechLab is planning to expand its presence in Thailand to recruit talent for biometric technology research and development, and may even open regional headquarters in the country. The Center for European Policy Analysis examines how Russian companies are continuing their international market participation despite restrictions brought on by the was in Ukraine.

Amiqus is the latest selfie biometrics provider to be certified to the UK’s Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework for DBS “right to work” background checks. The company offers NFC and photo ID document scanning and video liveness checks. The certified digital identity provider ranks are nearing double-digits.

Sectigo CSO and CISO David Mahdi looks at the composition of digital identity frameworks backed by governments and how to implement them in a Biometric Update guest post. The trust of consumers is earned by showing them how institutions can verify their claims without storing their data, but the trustworthiness of the system also needs to be verified, he argues.

NIST is working with CBP and the TSA to develop a face image quality standard, and hoping to have it ready for the beginning of 2024. Idemia NA’s Donnie Scott says compliance with the coming standard should be table stakes for face biometrics contracts with the U.S. government.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is planning to tender a $500 million contract for biometrics collection and related services. Feedback on the contract, which includes an expansion of the biometric modality the agency uses, is sought. A virtual conference with potential bidders is planned for the end of the month.

A UK government tender for mobile biometric equipment has been pulled back and reissued at slightly higher value after no qualifying bid was put forward on the first attempt. The new contract is for £500,000, for which Home Office wants 150 enrollment devices with FAP60 fingerprint scanners.

Oosto’s Dean Nicolls attempts to dispel some of the misconceptions around facial recognition in a profile of the company’s deployment in an Oklahoma casino for Forbes. Associate Editor Thomas Brewster sees risks in deployments that could happen someday, but also talks to the happy customer about how the technology is actually used.

Please let us know about any content we should share with the people in biometrics and the broader digital identity community in the comments below or through social media.

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