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Biometrics to support more national programs as legal frameworks and modalities advance

Biometrics to support more national programs as legal frameworks and modalities advance

Biometrics could be commonplace in applications five years from now that are novel today, panelists at an Innovatrics event explained in one of the most widely-read news items we reported on this past week. Changes in data protection plans and national digital ID systems in discussion at events held by OIX and ID4Africa also made up some of the top stories on Biometric Update. Enlightenment Capital has joined the market with the launch of a new digital ID company and acquired a biometric subsidiary in Printscan, while investing in Laxton.

Top biometrics news of the week

The tone of discussion around digital identity among Australia’s government, financial institutions, and even academia has shifted in the wake of the data breach at telecom Optus, which affects millions. Ministers at the federal and state level are interested in advancing different versions of digital ID, and the Australian National Bank sees securing trust as a key role for banks.

The UK, for its part, is pausing the advance of its data protection legislation. The decision immediately followed a plea from a digital department official to industry at the OIX Identity Trust conference in London to pitch the growth potential supported by the bill to the new government. Challenges around adoption and possible updates to AML rules were among other topics discussed.

Ethiopia’s new digital identity system was closely examined during the latest ID4Africa Livecast. Officials shared details on the prospects for the legal foundation and data protection needed to support the Fayda system, digital sovereignty, and the role of physical credentials. The system is being launched into a relative green-field, with high hopes for faster KYC processes replacing manual checks.

Last week’s online event also features a panel of national identity authority leaders from Nigeria, Pakistan and India, an update on ID Day and an in-depth look at Togo’s plans to make over its civil registry and launch a national digital ID.

Digital identity legislation in the U.S. is in a race to beat the end of the legislative session, with mid-term elections looming that could change the willingness of Senators to negotiate. While the bill, which prohibits a centralized federal ID database, has bipartisan sponsorship, its advance from Senate Committee to the floor does not assure its passage.

The biometric self-enrollment trials run by the Home Office were explored in detail for industry stakeholders at the latest EAB Lunch Talk. The goal is to eventually process up to 30 million people’s face and fingerprint biometrics, and the feasibility trial results for kiosks and mobile solutions include insights both specific to the program and broadly applicable to the field of biometrics.

Serbia is moving ahead with its plans for smart city technologies, including biometrics. The country’s government is negotiating with a Swedish developer to provide software that can run on cameras provided by China’s Huawei. American, German and Israeli companies are also being deployed or pitched for physical or cybersecurity purposes. A panel discussion at the Center for European Policy Analysis called for a united front against tech supplied from authoritarian countries.

The iOS 16 update to Apple Wallet increases the functionality of mobile driving licenses, particularly for ID verification, with Face ID or Touch ID biometrics securing authorization for requests of personal information. Meanwhile the EU plans for an EUID Wallet supporting selective disclosure to be available to every citizen, IDnow’s Sebastian Elfors said at OIX Identity Trust 2022.

The new Google Pixel 7 features native face biometrics plus an in-display fingerprint sensor, joining the relatively sparse ranks of multi-biometric smartphones. Speculation about the fate of Touch ID continues, including on the chances it will appear on lower-end iPhone models but not others.

A panel at BioCon 2022, hosted by Innovatrics, presented ideas on how biometrics will be used five years in the future. A representative of Smartmatic discussed the future of digital voting, including the introduction of face biometrics to Estonian elections, while an expert from Veridos proposed the use of DNA for civil registries.

An investment firm has made a dramatic move into biometrics and digital identity with the purchase of fingerprint background check provider Printscan and the launch of a subsidiary, Infinite ID, to be its corporate parent. Enlightenment Capital has also made an undisclosed investment in Laxton.

A survey from Experian shows over 80 percent of UK consumers and even more businesses trust behavioral biometrics to combat fraud, but just over half feel biometrics and AI increase their trust in banks, according to a Mitek survey. On confidence in data protection, a Thales survey shows banks are trusted by the more people than businesses in other verticals.

Please let us know about any articles, podcasts or other content we should share with the people in the biometrics industry and the broader digital identity community in the comments below, or through your preferred social media channel.

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