Biometrics providers stake out positions for future revenue
The first major biometrics consolidation of the year is in, with Tech5’s acquisition of Imageware assets. That deal, which strengthens Tech5’s geographical reach and product portfolio, was one of several major steps taken for future benefit that made headlines around the industry. Fujitsu Australia has won a major managed services contract, and three companies appointed CEOs. A pair of executive interviews detail 1account’s UK pilots of biometrics for nightclub entry, and RevealSecurity’s take on a new kind of behavioral biometric.
Top biometrics news of the week
An implementation of facial recognition at Madison Square Garden that does not align with any industry guidelines or best practices provides the latest negative example which will be held up as common or representative in consumer media reports. IBIA Managing Director Robert Tappan tells Biometric Update that he is concerned with confusion in the media about the difference between identity verification and surveillance, and the amount of hyperbole that comes with the over-generalization.
For those seeking to avoid the technology, CNN reports that an Italian fashion brand called Cap_able has launched a line of sweaters based on adversarial images that can defeat facial recognition algorithms. As a professor tells the outlet, though, the clothing will stop working that way at some point as algorithms improve.
Au10tix, Sift and Appgate have all appointed experienced hands as their new CEOs. They are former CIO, COO and CISOs, respectively. The latest round of hiring in the digital identity sector also includes leadership hires by Credence ID, Entersekt and Veriff.
Tech5’s U.S. subsidiary has acquired all Imageware assets, boosting its North American footprint and integrating Imageware’s biometric identification platform into its portfolio. Key members of Imageware’s team will be retained by its long-time partner. Tech5’s Rahul Parthe praised the turnaround effort by Imageware leadership over the past few years.
Fujitsu Australia has won a contract worth more than $26 million to support the back-end system for that country’s Identity Matching Services. The three-year managed services contract includes the IDMS document verification and face biometrics services, and the latter could soon have its own biometric database, with Home Affairs reportedly mulling the re-introduction of legislation to build one.
The Philippines’ President wants the national digital ID system rollout to speed up, with help from the private sector. President Marcos urged the government to enroll the yet-unregistered, who make up about a third of the population, and expressed admiration for the services being provided with national ID elsewhere.
An MoU with Singapore, meanwhile, could make the PhilID interoperable with the island nation’s digital ID. It also covers cooperation on cybersecurity and e-governance. Deals supporting cross-border digital ID interoperability could be also on the way between Singapore and India, and the EU and other countries in Southeast Asia.
SIM registration in the Philippines is proceeding at a fair clip, but a group has held a protest and plans to launch a legal challenge. Law enforcement in India is using facial recognition on that country’s SIM registry to investigate fraud, identity verification is now required for SIM sales staff in Peru, and registration kiosks have opened in Hong Kong subway stations.
A cabinet minister with Kenya’s new government is planning changes to the country’s national digital ID system, which include the introduction of what it hopes will be a sustainable funding model. The Huduma Namba initiative was the right idea, according to ICT Secretary Eliud Owalo, and will improve access to services, but has suffered from a trust deficit brought on by a poor public introduction.
1account CEO Ben Keirle tells Biometric Update that his company considers its trial of digital ID for night club entry as part of the UK Home Office initiative to be successful, if expensive. The trial had a number of strange features, like mobile network failures and required physical ID scans, but the company says it showed its app can get people into venues faster, while making the job of security staff easier.
RevealSecurity is feeding user logs into its machine learning model to use the way employees interact with applications as a behavioral biometric, Field CTO Adam Koblentz explains in an interview. User journey analytics bring anomaly and fraud detection to the application layer, and Koblentz argues they avoid the false alerts plaguing cybersecurity teams.
Island-hopping, or targeting third parties to gain an attack vector against a victim with more robust cybersecurity, is an under-recognized vulnerability, PlainID CRO Tom Ammirati explains in a guest post for Biometric Update. One of the few effective tools businesses have to defend against this type of attack is Zero Trust approach.
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