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Oosto ends collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University

Oosto ends collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University

Facial recognition company Oosto has ended its partnership with Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) CyLab Biometric Research Center, a security and privacy research institute based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Formerly known as Anyvision, Israel-based Oosto partnered with CyLab in 2021 on early-stage research in advanced object classification and behavior recognition algorithms for commercial use cases. At the time, Professor Marios Savvides, who is also the founder and director of the Biometrics Center, joined Oosto’s AI team.

CyLab did not disclose the reason behind Oosto’s termination of the partnership.

“CyLab’s Biometrics Lab has enjoyed partnering with Oosto, and we are grateful for all the research opportunities they’ve helped provide,” Ryan Noone, CMU’s communications manager told Biometric Update on Monday. “Our relationship with Oosto remains strong, and we hope to continue working together in various ways for years to come.”

Oosto also seems to be going through staff changes. The LinkedIn profile of the company’s head of research and research engineering, Jarno Ralli, has also departed. Ralli did not respond to a request for comment but LinkedIn shows that he is no longer employed by the company since March.

Oosto’s main products are in the public safety industry, including automated watchlist alerting, contactless access control and surveillance. It counts Deloitte, Morgan Stanley, Ford, Verizon and Macy’s among its customers. In 2021, the company raised $235 million in its C round of funding led by SoftBank and Eldridge.

The company attracted controversy in 2019 when a report alleged that its technology was being quietly used by the Israeli government to run surveillance on Palestinians in the West Bank. Since then, the company has launched initiatives on AI ethics compliance and committed to “ethical facial recognition.”

During IFSEC 2022, it presented new face biometrics products in an attempt to attract law enforcement customers. More recently it deployed its facial recognition software at the Australian Turf Club (ATC), which owns horse racing and hospitality venues across Sydney, Australia, and partnered with Muscogee Nation Gaming Enterprises, one of the largest casino owners and operators in the United States.

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