Maturing biometrics models meet newer markets, applications
Device biometrics are being used to secure more applications and interactions in several of the most-read articles of the week on Biometric Update. Digital public infrastructure is getting more attention from governments, who are turning to expertise in India and Pakistan for help setting it up. A guest post from Idex Biometrics on zero trust and the latest on Worldcoin drew readers’ attention, while airport biometrics deployments by Amadeus and Vision-Box show further growth in well-established segments as well.
Top biometrics news of the week
Kenyan officials visited with NADRA in Pakistan to inform its consideration of a bid to help build a new national ID system. Officials say they want to replicate the interconnectedness of Pakistan’s digital ID and create a foundation for digital public infrastructure in Kenya.
The extensive digital public infrastructure developed by India is being adopted by the seven other countries that make up membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have agreed to follow the DPI model that resulted in Aadhaar, the world’s largest biometric system, and work towards interoperability.
Along with these government agency initiatives in Pakistan and India, the growing influence of the digital identity expertise from the region is seen in the success of MOSIP, which holds a Partner Conversations Event ahead of ID4Africa’s AGM next week in Nairobi.
WhatsApp’s biometric lock feature for individual chat threads is now live as an additional layer of privacy and data security protection. The feature relies on authentication to the device with native fingerprint or face biometrics, or a password. WhatsApp users were previously able to lock and unlock the whole app with biometrics.
A survey from the FIDO Alliance shows that biometrics are finally catching up to passwords as a way to log-in to accounts, at least in the U.S. Passwords are still being used, reset and going stale at scale, but nearly half of American consumers have heard of passkeys, and 44 percent are already using biometrics.
Native device biometrics and zero-knowledge credentials are being built into crypto wallets, through a tool for developers from Dfns in the former case, and Verida in the latter. Polygon ID has been integrated with the Verida Wallet, while Dfns’ new “Delegated Signing” feature utilizes WebAuthn.
Idex Biometrics CTO Anthony Eaton considers how organizations are moving towards a zero-trust approach to protecting access to digital and physical resources in a guest post. Adding biometrics to access cards represents a way to adopt zero trust that avoids many of the barriers that have held businesses back.
Worldcoin’s digital wallet is migrating to Optimism’s Ethereum-based crypto network, just as rumors emerge of a potential $100 million funding round. The organization has also apparently suffered a security breach in its network of Orb biometric scanner operators, though it says no personal data was revealed.
A new white paper from OpenID considers how privacy is affected by government-issued digital credentials. With input from many of the world’s most influential organizations in digital identity, the paper reviews the landscape of IDs in liberal democracies, along with biometrics standards and potential legal gaps. It concludes with five recommendations for governments.
Scientists in the United States have developed a way to capture DNA from the environment; wastewater systems, in one example. The method works well enough to glean information about the subject, though it is still maturing. A batch of internal EU documents show that France collects far more DNA profiles for law enforcement checks than any other country on the continent.
The next big step in airport biometrics deployments may be orchestration of various touchpoints, judging by the examples of Amadeus at India’s Noida International and Vision-Box at Argentina’s Ezeiza International. Face biometrics trials are starting at airports in Vietnam and Germany, meanwhile, and U.S. policymakers are arguing about TSA’s biometric program even as it expands.
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