Biometrics R&D leads to product updates, published patents and advancement of digital wallets
Biometrics is recommended to handle SIM exchanges separately by the FBI and Veridas, while digital identity programs are progressing in Australia and Singapore, in the latter case in collaboration with Thales, among the most read. Biometric update article of the week. Digital wallets and other digital identity infrastructure seem to be part of the legacy of the pandemic disruption, as is the increased adoption of contactless technologies like facial recognition developed by Paravision and a new verification terminal for which Global ID is seeking a patent.
Top biometric news of the week
State, territory and federal governments have agreed to work together as Australia works to establish a national digital ID system, which may include a range of different options available in different parts of the country. Australia is also working on age verification for online pornography. In Western Australia, an updated digital strategy roadmap provides details on how the introduction of digital ID fits into the overall vision for digital transformation.
There are different types of digital wallets for payments, digital ID and cryptocurrency, with different features. Columnist Heather Vescent breaks down the differences and suggests that the hard, inglorious work of ensuring interoperability is probably better than any kind of unified digital wallet.
Digital COVID credentials have returned to the headlines as governments begin to disable the systems they have in place. Part of the infrastructure, however, remains behind and, according to Geert Peeters of Zetes, can be used in mobile identity wallets. The EUDCC is considered a success, but also shows an element of digital identity infrastructure that is still missing.
The measurement of human characteristics is common to biometrics and eugenics, which The Washington Post points out, connects to COVID surveillance through a South Korean municipal program, and stands as a cautionary tale. There’s a “but” in the penultimate paragraph that does a tremendous amount of rhetorical work to hold the argument together, but of course caution is always warranted with powerful technology, such as with pseudoscience.
Meta faces another lawsuit for alleged biometric data privacy breach, this one in Texas, though state regulations do not have a private right of action. AG Ken Paxton’s Facebook investigation, launched in 2020, resulted in an accusation that the company committed tens of millions of violations against Texas residents.
An agreement has been reached by employee management technology provider Kronos to settle the privacy of its biometric data under Illinois private law of action for $15 million. On the other hand, the lawsuits regarding the company’s ransomware incident are only just beginning.
Thales is setting up two research centers in Singapore as part of a public-private partnership and recruiting a team of 350 engineers as an extension of an existing collaboration. One of the R&D centers will focus specifically on digital identity and security technologies, including biometrics.
In a widely misunderstood development, the Ghana Card has been confirmed to meet the standards for inclusion in the ICAO Public Key Directory. The PKD is used by countries around the world to validate the biometric travel documents of others, such as passports, although the approval of acceptance rests with each nation.
Global ID has had a patent issued in Europe for a digital identity verification terminal, which could be used in combination with the company’s vein biometrics. The disclosed system interacts with on-chip digital identity storage objects, such as cards, through an encrypted channel.
The FBI has issued a warning about the upsurge in SIM card swapping fraud, which has more than quintupled to $68 million in 2021, advising the use of biometrics and other security tools. Veridas offers guidance for biometric deployments to guard against SIM card swapping.
Paravision’s facial recognition algorithm that excelled in the recent NIST FRVT is now in production in the company’s fifth-generation product suite. The update also expands the suite’s implementation capabilities, with iOS support and improved liveliness on edge devices.
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