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Face biometrics market reacts to geopolitical, ethical pressures

Face biometrics market reacts to geopolitical, ethical pressures

Face biometrics supply chain decisions and certifications, implementations and contracts for government digital identity schemes are the top themes of the most-read articles on Biometric Update over the past week. Wisesoft has a new source of microchips for its 3D facial recognition cameras, while Facewatch is moving away from a camera supplier it used to integrate in its retail biometric solution. Controversy over training data continues to simmer, meanwhile. Deloitte is the biggest winner in a set of UK contracts to support its system for signing in to government services, while Mastercard has been certified as a digital identity provider.

Top biometrics news of the week

South Africa’s government is being taken to court by a human rights advocacy group to change the requirements to register births. Registration for a birth certificate currently requires the submission of a parent’s ID, as well as proof of the child’s birth and biometrics, all within 30 days, which is excluding people and violates the constitution, according to the legal challenge.

Nearby Botswana is planning to launch a biometric ID card to facilitate travel across the border shared with Namibia, following an agreement between the neighbors. Zimbabwe is deploying biometric gates at its borders, meanwhile, to automate clearance processes.

An announcement from Chengdu-based 3D facial recognition developer Wisesoft suggests that China’s tech sector is having some success in mitigating the effects of sanctions by making its own semiconductor chips. Even better for Wisesoft, the new supply of chips is faster and half the price of those made in places like the U.S. and Taiwan.

Facewatch has committed to avoiding the use of Hikvision cameras in new installations of its retail facial recognition system, and says it has never used algorithms developed in China, following a furor raised by reports of the Chinese manufacturers devices in UK retailers. Tesco had already banned cameras from Hikvision and Dahua.

Many of the most popular datasets used to train facial recognition algorithms are made up of images gathered without consent from the subjects, and often used in violation of the license they were collected under, according to a presentation by a privacy advocate and researcher.

Worldcoin has launched a new protocol and SDK for developers to build applications for its credential, and the company’s World ID has been integrated with Discord for account access. Tools for Humanity’s Tiago Sada tells Biometric Update that World ID may soon use face biometrics for reauthentication, while iris is used for global deduplication.

The EU has advanced to ‘trilogues’ which represent the final step before ratification of a trusted framework for digital identity. The negotiations between EU Parliament, Council and Commission will focus on privacy considerations and how accessible the digital wallet-based system will be for the elderly.

Mastercard has received DIATF certification, setting it up as a UK digital identity provider for a range of applications. At the same time, a partnership in New South Wales will see Mastercard’s digital ID used to verify people purchasing alcohol online are of age.

A trend towards requiring age verification for online interactions among many governments is examined in a guest post by Jumio CEO Robert Prigge. There are privacy challenges to be considered, Prigge writes, and responsibility ultimately needs to be shared between organizations and parents.

The UK’s GDS handed out contracts totalling over $50 million recently, largely to support the development of its One Login access control system for public services. PA Consulting, Deloitte and Deloitte LLP, Kin and Carta Create, The Dextrous Web and Thoughtworks were awarded contracts.

An OECD committee is seeking comment on a draft series of recommendations for governing digital ID as digital public infrastructure. SonicBee’s Henk Marsman helps guide Biometric Update readers through the seven sets of recommendations, which include guidance on accessibility, cross-border use, privacy, and interoperability.

NIST has also invited input on its draft white paper encouraging the adoption of digital identities on people’s mobile devices. Best practices, standards and testing for mobile driver’s licenses are all part of the agency’s plan. New York is preparing to issues mDLs, continuing their slow march across the U.S.

Someone appears to be using deceit, including a fake AI industry publication, to try to elicit information from a facial recognition provider about deposits at Silicon Valley Bank, as reported by IPVM. The suspicious website appears to have AI-generated content, and possibly staff. If you have any information on who is behind the misrepresentation, or organizations affected by SVBs collapse, for that matter, you know where to direct it.

Please tell us about any articles, podcasts, or other content we should share with the people who work in biometrics and the broader digital identity community either in the comments below or through social media.

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