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Digital transformation unlocks biometrics market opportunities

Digital transformation unlocks biometrics market opportunities

The next stage of digital transformation and the place of biometrics in it was a common theme in the headlines on Biometric Update this week, with a large contingent of the biometrics community in Ethiopia for a MOSIP event. Birth registration linked to digital ID in Nepal, EU Digital Identity Wallets and digital payments in an Australian state were among the most-read stories of the week.

Biometrics could fill in gaps in healthcare’s digital transformation, an HID executive writes, but the rise of accessible AI is also making fraud tools more widely available, as discovered by Au10tix researchers. Worldcoin is being challenged by regulators, and ThreatFabric warns of mobile malware gaps.

Top biometrics news of the week

Birth registration now triggers digital ID issuance in Nepal, where a policy change has led to about 2,000 digital ID numbers being given out each day, according to government figures. Biometric national ID card distribution is also being accelerated, and the government plans to make the cards mandatory.

Final approval of the EU’s Digital Identity Wallet came this week after the legislation passed a vote in the European Parliament at the close of February. The government-provided wallets will be optional and give users control of their own data. They are also open-source, offering qualified electronic signatures and peer-to-peer interactions.

New South Wales, Australia, is moving ahead with plans to adopt the federal platform for real-time digital payments, and hoping to complete the transition in 18 months or less. The move would also open up open banking capabilities for businesses. The first step is getting all government agencies to use the CPP.

The first day of MOSIP’s event this week in Addis Ababa featured a conversation between officials from Morocco and the Philippines about lessons from their early implementations of the open-source digital ID platform. Host Ethiopia also gave a progress report on its efforts to establish a national digital ID based on MOSIP, which have passed 4 million enrollments. Biometric Update reported all of the major development from on-location at MOSIP Connect 2024.

Regulators around the world continue to take an interest in the data collection and processing practices of Worldcoin, with South Korea announcing an investigation this week. The country’s data protection authority is looking for violations of the Personal Information Protection Act, but has not alleged any yet.

The fallout from a trio of coups in West Africa has reached the region’s identification schemes, with Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali no longer part of the ECOWAS passport and ID card programs. Their departure from the bloc could also impact their involvement in the WURI program, which has advanced to test registrations in Togo.

A Digital Travel Credentials pilot scuttled by the pandemic is relaunching with flights from the Netherlands to Canada, at the European Commission’s request. Passengers use the DTC instead of a passport at automated gates for faster border control checks. E-gates at Entebbe Airport in Uganda can now read chip passports, and Vietnam is piloting permit checks with digital signatures.

There were 75 banking malware families observed by ThreatFabric in 2023, the company revealed in one of a pair of posts on the growing threat of mobile banking malware. ThreatFabric sees three major gaps in malware detection contributing to the threat, and separately notes that the Anatsa trojan is being used to attack targets in more countries.

Au10tix researchers have identified the new incarnation of the notorious ID fraud tool wholesaler OnlyFake. The new website still bears its former name in places, and Au10tix CBDO Ofer Friedman tells Biometric Update that all its former communications channels still work. He also provides advice for businesses concerned about spoof attacks.

There are several different ways biometrics can help improve healthcare services, HID Global Biometrics Business Unit MD Vito Fabbrizio writes in a Biometric Update guest post. Fabbrizio lays out use cases on the patient and employee sides of healthcare delivery and recommends which modality is appropriate for each.

Event season is in full swing, and the Biometrics Institute is convening biometrics professionals for the ID@Borders Conference April 18 and 19 in Helsinki. DHS is holding its 10th annual Strategic Industry Conversation (SIC X) event on March 28, in Washington, D.C with the theme, “Enhanced Mission Delivery Through Transparent Partnerships.” The Identity Defined Security Alliance holds its Identity Management Day 2024 on April 9 to raise awareness about the importance of properly managing digital identities and share best practices.

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