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Serpro signs up Persona for Brazilian biometric ID verification database

Public data processing service still up for privatization
Serpro signs up Persona for Brazilian biometric ID verification database

Brazil’s federal government is working on biometric identity verification infrastructure that would act as a backstop for businesses looking for a better way to reduce fraud.

Officials have picked a delicate time to push the button on this effort. The government unit involved with the partnership has been targeted for privatization, raising privacy and security concerns.

State-owned Federal Data Processing Service, or Serpro, this week has approved an integration with the Persona identity verification and orchestration platform. The company will partner with Serpro to run checks against the Brazilian Government database of government issued IDs. This data includes biometric data to enable businesses to verify customers’ identities.

Persona CEO Rick Song says that fraud is regularly perpetrated in Brazil with forged government ID documents.

Persona executives may get more than they bargained for in the partnership. The federal government is selling off state-owned operations. Some Serpro staff reportedly oppose the privatization move because they say it could jeopardize citizens’ personal information held by Serpro.

Persona says the integration represents “a new verification type,” but has not elaborated. It might be a reference to biometric liveness testing, which is part of the contract.

Businesses would compare identity information against the federal government’s database, which holds citizens’ name, national ID numbers, birthdate and a photo. A selfie collected by Persona would be compared to the Serpro image.

The company says in an announcement it will reduce false rejections due to common user errors, face image quality, and bias.

This post was updated at 6:35pm Eastern on September 21, 2022 to clarify the relationship between Serpro and Persona.

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