controversy

UIDAI Employee Investigated Over Bogus Aadhaar Account

UIDAI Employee Investigated Over Bogus Aadhaar Account

“The bogus identity used the name Osama bin Laden and featured a blurry photo of the former terrorist leader, who was killed by American special forces in 2011.” An employee of the Unique Identification Authority of India is under investigation by police officials for attempting to create a fraudulent identity in Aadhaar, the country’s national…

Crossmatch Files Lawsuit Against Integrated Biometrics Over Alleged Patent Infringement

Crossmatch Files Lawsuit Against Integrated Biometrics Over Alleged Patent Infringement

“In its lawsuit, Crossmatch is demanding that Integrated Biometrics be prevented from continuing to sell the offending devices, and also seeks compensation…” Crossmatch has filed a lawsuit against Integrated Biometrics, accusing the company of patent infringement. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court of Delaware. In a statement, Crossmatch claimed that multiple…

Researchers Test ‘MasterPrint’ Hypothesis

Researchers Test ‘MasterPrint’ Hypothesis

A joint team of researchers from New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering and Michigan State University’s College of Engineering are warning that the fingerprint biometrics now commonly used for mobile authentication may not be as unique as many believe. Because smartphones use only partial fingerprints and often allow for multiple users’ fingerprint data to…

Israeli Labor Court Rules Against Use of Fingerprint Attendance Tracking

Israeli Labor Court Rules Against Use of Fingerprint Attendance Tracking

Israel’s National Labor Court has ruled that employers cannot compel their staff to participate in a biometric time and attendance system based on fingerprint scanning, reports Bloomberg BNA. The case, Histadrut General Labor Fed’n v. Qalansuwa Municipality, was resolved in favor of workers’ privacy rights with respect to biometric data. In a panel ruling, head Judge Lea…

UIDAI Seeks to Reassure Public of Security of Aadhaar After Misuse Discovery

UIDAI Seeks to Reassure Public of Security of Aadhaar After Misuse Discovery

Having launched criminal investigation against multiple organizations for misuse of Aadhaar a couple of weeks ago, the Unique Identification Authority of India is now seeking to reassure the public that the incident did not involve a breach of the national ID program’s biometic data. The case of misuse involved Axis Bank and its business partners Suvidhaa Infoserve…

Israeli Legislature Passes Biometric ID Law

Israeli Legislature Passes Biometric ID Law

“While the country’s biometric smart cards will need to include citizens’ facial and fingerprint data, the latter no longer needs to be submitted to a national database, though individuals who opt out will need to renew their IDs twice as often.” Israel’s legislature has approved a new law that will make registration in a national biometric…

Montana Legislation Emulates Illinois Biometrics Law That Brought Google, Facebook Lawsuits

Montana Legislation Emulates Illinois Biometrics Law That Brought Google, Facebook Lawsuits

Legislators in Montana are considering a new bill that would establish new regulations around biometric data in the state, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation is throwing its support behind it. House Bill 518 would require companies to obtain written consent before collecting biometric information from individuals, to store it securely, and to destroy it when…

Compelled Fingerprint Unlock Violates Fifth Amendment: Federal Court

Compelled Fingerprint Unlock Violates Fifth Amendment: Federal Court

“It should be a welcome ruling from the perspective of privacy advocates like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which decried a similar police effort in California last autumn.” Police cannot walk into a building and order everyone inside to unlock their iPhones via fingerprint scan, an Illinois federal court has ruled. The case arose from police…

Gov’t Pursues Police Investigation Over Aadhaar Misuse

Gov’t Pursues Police Investigation Over Aadhaar Misuse

Three companies going to be investigated for illegal use of India’s Aadhaar national biometric ID program, reports The Times of India. The Unique Identification Authority of India, which administrates Aadhaar, has filed a request for official investigation of the firms with the Delhi Police after discovering that an unusual number of biometric authentication transactions had…

Lars Söderfjell Leaves FPC Board After Insider Trading Accusations

Lars Söderfjell Leaves FPC Board After Insider Trading Accusations

Lars Söderfjell has left his position on Fingerprint Cards’ Board of Directors in the wake of accusations of insider trading from Sweden’s Economic Crime Authority. In a statement announcing his departure, FPC said Söderfjell “leaves the Board on his own initiative.” Speaking for himself, Söderfjell stated, “Even if I believe that I am innocent, after careful consideration…

FPC Board Member, Former CEO Arrested by Economic Crime Authority

FPC Board Member, Former CEO Arrested by Economic Crime Authority

Fingerprint Cards says its “operations are not affected by these events.” A board member and a former employee of Fingerprint Cards have been taken into custody by the Swedish Economic Crime Authority over allegations of insider trading. The individuals in question are board member Lars Söderfjell and Johan Carlström, a major shareholder in FPC. Carlström stepped down as FPC’s…

Year in Review 2016: Public Perception

Year in Review 2016: Public Perception

In December we polled 165 professionals in biometrics and identity related industries about various topics from the past year. It was part of the FindBiometrics Year in Review, the longest-running and best regarded industry retrospective of its kind. Now in its 14th consecutive year, the FindBiometrics Year in Review is your resource to start 2017…

Fifth Amendment Doesn’t Apply to Fingerprint Security: Minnesota Court of Appeals

Fifth Amendment Doesn’t Apply to Fingerprint Security: Minnesota Court of Appeals

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has produced another wrinkle in the contentious matter of privacy rights with respect to biometrically locked mobile devices. The court recently denied an appeal from a convicted burglar who had tried to argue that a court order compelling him to unlock his phone for police via fingerprint scan had violated his Fifth…

NII Researcher Warns That Fingerprints Can Be Stolen from Photos

NII Researcher Warns That Fingerprints Can Be Stolen from Photos

A researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Informatics (NII) is warning that fingerprint recognition technology is now sophisticated enough that hackers could copy the patterns from photos of people giving the peace sign. In fact, Isao Echizen says he did just that, capturing fingerprint data from an individual standing only nine feet away. The claim…

Fashion Designs Aimed at Overwhelming Facial Recognition Systems

Fashion Designs Aimed at Overwhelming Facial Recognition Systems

Presenting at the most recent Chaos Communications Congress in Hamburg, artist Adam Harvey unveiled fashion designs aimed at confusing and thwarting facial recognition technology. Developed in collaboration with Hyphen-Labs, the designs incorporate abstract graphics aimed at tricking facial recognition systems into interpreting them as multiple faces images. Harvey’s aim is to overwhelm facial recognition systems…

Moscow-Made Software Can Track Down Faces on Twitter

Moscow-Made Software Can Track Down Faces on Twitter

NTechLab, the Moscow-based team behind an app that can search Russia’s version of Facebook to find particular faces, has turned its attention to Twitter. A new version of its FindFace app launched Friday with the capability of tracking down an individual’s face among 300 million Twitter accounts in under one second. Twitter has already responded indicating…

State Biometrics Law Produces First Settlement

State Biometrics Law Produces First Settlement

The first tangible legal outcome from the state of Illinois’ biometric data legislation has emerged, reports Big Law Business. It’s the same legislation that has ensnared tech giants like Facebook and Google for their use of biometric identification technologies. The law requires that companies get consent from individuals before ascertaining their biometric data, and compels…

Uber, Lyft Threaten to Leave Maryland Over Biometric Background Checks

Uber, Lyft Threaten to Leave Maryland Over Biometric Background Checks

“The legislation is set to take effect December 15th, but the Maryland Public Service Commission will hold hearings on the matter starting this Thursday, with Uber and Lyft officials expected to participate.” Ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft are threatening to halt operations in Maryland if they are forced to comply with new legislation requiring that…

Samsung Electronics Addresses Note7 Recall In Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders

Samsung Electronics Addresses Note7 Recall In Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders

Samsung Electronics is looking to get back on track after its Galaxy Note7 fiasco. In addition to other business developments concerning a spinoff of its printing division and the appointment of a new board member, the company’s leadership addressed the issue of its aborted smartphone in a recent Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders. The Galaxy Note7…

News Roundup: Meet Us At Money20/20

News Roundup: Meet Us At Money20/20

Last week at FindBiometrics we previewed what to expect at this week’s massive FinTech show, Money20/20. Meanwhile, the headlines were filled with fingerprint biometrics integrations, mobile eye-scanning technology, and even some controversy regarding biometrics and privacy. Here’s a look back on last week’s top biometrics news stories. Preparing For Money20/20 This week we are in…

Privacy Advocates Fight for Release of Police Records on Biometrics

Privacy Advocates Fight for Release of Police Records on Biometrics

Privacy rights advocates are battling the Hennepin County Sheriff Office in court over records pertaining to police authorities’ use of biometric identification technology. It’s the result of an Electronic Frontier Foundation campaign to help concerned citizens file information requests from local government and law enforcement agencies. One participant, Tony Webster, sent such a request to…

Half of All Americans Targeted in Police Use of Facial Recognition: Report

Half of All Americans Targeted in Police Use of Facial Recognition: Report

Law enforcement authorities’ use of facial recognition technology is putting half of Americans into a “perpetual lineup” of potential criminals, according to a new study from Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology. The study suggests that excessive use of the technology is violating numerous Americans’ civil rights. It’s the product of a year-long investigation based…

Biometric Phone Unlock Search Warrant is ‘Audacious Abuse of Power’

Biometric Phone Unlock Search Warrant is ‘Audacious Abuse of Power’

Police in Lancaster, California, sought a warrant to force all individuals at a specific premises to unlock their phones via fingerprint scan. More surprisingly, the warrant was granted, by Central District of California attorney Eileen Decker. It isn’t clear if the warrant was actually used, but its scope is remarkable. While police search warrants are…

Samsung Halts Sales and Exchanges of Iris Scanning Smartphone

Samsung Halts Sales and Exchanges of Iris Scanning Smartphone

“It’s a sad end for what had been a promising device, but mobile iris scanning is unlikely to die with the Note7.” Samsung is putting a halt to sales and exchanges of its Galaxy Note7 smartphones. The device initially launched in Korea in August, with a global rollout following soon after. It had generated considerable…

Yahoo Reveals Much Worse Hack Attack Than Expected

Yahoo Reveals Much Worse Hack Attack Than Expected

Yahoo’s data breach is much worse than expected. Reports emerged earlier this week that the company was preparing to confirm a hack attack that first came to light this past summer when certain credentials of about 200 million users were put up for sale online. Now, Yahoo has revealed that roughly half a billion accounts…

Hack Attack Could Manipulate Biometric Border Screening: Report

Hack Attack Could Manipulate Biometric Border Screening: Report

Canadian border officials are concerned about potential hack attacks against their biometric databases, according to a new report from The Toronto Star’s Alex Boutilier. The concerns were outlined in a report prepared by Canada Border Services Agency officials for the country’s Public Safety Minister last November. The document outlines multiple digital threats to border security,…

The Big Deal With Biometric Background Checks

The Big Deal With Biometric Background Checks

The first thing that probably comes to mind when thinking of law enforcement and biometrics is the booking process—submitting fingerprints in a police station—or perhaps the high color saturation and techno-suspense of a facial recognition montage in an episode of CSI. Forensic science and the post-arrest process seem to be the poster children of biometrics and…

Security Researchers Spoof Faces With 3D Models Built From Social Media Pics

Security Researchers Spoof Faces With 3D Models Built From Social Media Pics

Your face can be replicated in a virtual model and used for biometric authentication, suggests new research from a University of North Carolina team. As Wired reports, the researchers showed how this can be done at the recent Usenix security conference. They looked up digital images of volunteers on social networks such as Facebook and…

Florida County Becomes New Front In Uber, Lyft’s Biometric Background Check Fight

Florida County Becomes New Front In Uber, Lyft’s Biometric Background Check Fight

Florida’s Hillsborough County is moving to implement new regulations for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, reports the Tampa Bay Times. A subcommittee of the county’s Public Transportation Committee voted to proceed with new legislation establishing a special category for ride-hailing companies called ‘transportation network companies’, or TNCs, and setting out specific regulations for such…

Boston Police Commissioner Decries Lack of Fingerprinting for Uber, Lyft Drivers

Boston Police Commissioner Decries Lack of Fingerprinting for Uber, Lyft Drivers

The Massachusetts House and Senate have approved new legislation concerning the certification of Uber and Lyft drivers, and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans has gone public with his concerns about their lack of any requirement for a fingerprint-based background check. While the regulations require Uber and Lyft drivers to be officially certified and to have…

Biometrics Expert Helps Police Spoof Fingerprints for Smartphone Access

Biometrics Expert Helps Police Spoof Fingerprints for Smartphone Access

Police in the US have successfully spoofed a murder victim’s fingerprints in order to gain access to his smartphone. It’s result of a collaboration recently initiated with Michigan State University biometrics researcher Dr. Anil Jain, one of the world’s most well-respected biometrics experts. Police believed that the murder victim’s Samsung Galaxy S6 may contain clues…

Unsealed Documents Illustrate Biometric Password Legal Tension

Unsealed Documents Illustrate Biometric Password Legal Tension

A federal judge ordered an accused pimp to unlock his iPhone via Touch ID fingerprint scan in 2013, unsealed court documents reveal. As 9to5Mac reports, this is only the second known federal case in which a suspect has been ordered to unlock a device via fingerprint scan, an order that some warn could be unconstitutional,…

FBI ‘Pilot Project’ Has Collected 434,000 Iris Scans

FBI ‘Pilot Project’ Has Collected 434,000 Iris Scans

The FBI has been running a secret iris scanning program, according to a new report from The Verge. Officially designated a pilot program, it has largely escaped substantial oversight and public knowledge. It began in 2013 as a close collaboration between the federal law enforcement agency and the California Department of Justice, envisioned as a…

Biometric Screening System Now Running Smoothly: South African Minister

Biometric Screening System Now Running Smoothly: South African Minister

South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister has been seeking to reassure travelers that problems caused by the implementation of biometric screening at the OR Tambo International Airport have now been resolved. The problems were, more specifically, delays: The Department of Home Affairs and airport authorities had the biometric passenger screening system installed last week, delaying flights and…

Traditional Taxi Services Call for Biometric Background Checks for Drivers

Traditional Taxi Services Call for Biometric Background Checks for Drivers

America’s Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA) and National Limousine Association (NLA) are calling for fingerprint-based background checks for all drivers for hire. In a joint statement announcing their collective stance, the organizations highlight the safety benefits offered by such biometric background checks, which can help ensure that passengers are in good hands when hiring…

GAO Report Sheds Light on FBI’s Secret Biometric Program

GAO Report Sheds Light on FBI’s Secret Biometric Program

The FBI has developed a powerful biometric identification system without proper oversight, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report has revealed the FBI’s FACE—Facial Analysis, Comparison, and Evaluation—program, a facial recognition system that scans images obtained from civilian databases. FACE has access to over 411.9 million images collected from…

Strict Biometric Screening for China Region Seen as Discriminatory

Strict Biometric Screening for China Region Seen as Discriminatory

Chinese authorities have issued special biometric requirements for aspiring travelers in the Xinjiang region’s Ili prefecture. Regional police have reportedly announced that all residents must provide DNA, fingerprint, and voiceprint biometric data, and must also submit to 3D body scans, in order to apply for travel documents. The strictures follow measures enacted last year in…

Privacy Advocates Defeat Bill Challenging Biometrics Regulation

Privacy Advocates Defeat Bill Challenging Biometrics Regulation

Privacy advocates are warning about the dangers posed by unregulated use of biometric technology in the wake of recent legal maneuvering in the US government. Just ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, a bill was introduced into the Illinois General Assembly aimed at altering the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act so that its provisions would only apply…

FBI Moves to Exempt NGI System from Privacy Legislation

FBI Moves to Exempt NGI System from Privacy Legislation

America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking to exempt its Next Generation Identification (NGI) biometric database system from national privacy legislation. First launched back in 2013, the NGI system is used for biometric identification by law enforcement authorities as well as government bodies conducting background checks on applicants for certain kinds of jobs. Last autumn…

How Hundreds of Terror Suspects’ Biometric Profiles Were Deleted

How Hundreds of Terror Suspects’ Biometric Profiles Were Deleted

A new report from the UK’s Biometrics Commissioner is highlighting the complexities of managing biometric data. In the particular case of Alastair MacGregor QC’s investigation, it has become apparent that the records of hundreds of individuals suspected to be terrorists  have been deleted, due in large part to technical issues. Current legislation requires that biometric data collected…

Growing Demand for App That Matches Pics to Social Profiles

Growing Demand for App That Matches Pics to Social Profiles

A Russian app that searches a popular social networking site to match faces to smartphone photos is proving increasingly popular in its home country. Called FindFace, the app was recently highlighted in an art project that used it to match pictures of Moscow subway riders to their profiles on the VKontakte social network. It’s based on…

Shutterfly Settles Biometrics Privacy Case

Shutterfly Settles Biometrics Privacy Case

Shutterfly has come to terms with an Illinois man who had filed a lawsuit against the company’s use of biometric identification with respect to his person. The plaintiff argued that Shutterfly’s use of biometric identification on his image, which was uploaded to the site by a third party, violated his privacy rights as he had…

Atlanta Airport Seeks Biometric Background Checks for Uber Drivers

Atlanta Airport Seeks Biometric Background Checks for Uber Drivers

The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, more commonly known as the Atlanta airport, is seeking to impose mandatory fingerprint-based background checks on unlicensed taxi services such as Uber and Lyft. The airport submitted the plan to Atlanta’s city council for consideration this week. Predictably, Uber and Lyft have come out with public objections against the proposal,…

Barbados Gov’t Delays Launch of Biometric Border Screening

Barbados Gov’t Delays Launch of Biometric Border Screening

The Barbados government is treading carefully as it prepares to implement biometric border screening. The country’s Immigration Department has pushed back the implementation date in order to more closely examine sensitive issues related to the project. Originally, the biometric border screening was set to go live on April 1st of this year, with multiple fingerprint…

Indian Gov’t Seeks to Open Aadhaar Data to Security Agencies

Indian Gov’t Seeks to Open Aadhaar Data to Security Agencies

India’s ruling government is attempting to pass legislation that will leverage the data associated with its Aadhaar program for security purposes. Aadhaar is, of course, the country’s national citizen ID program, which has now collected the biographic and biometric data of nearly a billion citizens. The program’s initial aim was to make the distribution of…

UK Report Sheds Light on Authorities’ Management of Biometric Evidence

UK Report Sheds Light on Authorities’ Management of Biometric Evidence

A new report from Britain’s Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material has shed light on UK authorities’ collection of biometric evidence, and raised some eyebrows. The report revealed that a national counter-terrorism database contains biometric data—DNA and fingerprint samples—of about 7,800 persons. It also illustrated the effects of 2012 legislation requiring the…

Google the Latest to Run Up Against Illinois Biometrics Law

Google the Latest to Run Up Against Illinois Biometrics Law

Google has now fallen into the same legal trap that ensnared Facebook and Shutterfly. The company now faces a lawsuit over alleged violations of Illinois legislation covering biometrics and privacy. The lawsuit pertains to Google’s use of facial recognition with its Google Photos app. A Chicago resident claims that a user took multiple photos of…

Judge Sides With Facebook on Biometrics Issue

Judge Sides With Facebook on Biometrics Issue

Facebook has won an important lawsuit over its collection of biometric data. The case was brought forward by Illinois resident Frederick William Gullen, who cited state legislation requiring that companies obtain individuals’ consent before capturing their biometric data. Gullen’s image was uploaded to the site by a friend, who tagged his name to the picture,…

Biometrics Year in Review: The Role of Public Perception

Biometrics Year in Review: The Role of Public Perception

Last year was one of unprecedented visibility for biometric technology. With major innovations in mobility and consumer electronics bringing post-password tech to the masses, and with the increased international threat of terrorism once again spurring on the initiatives to biometrically secure borders, biometrics were among the mainstream topics of 2015. But with increased optics comes…

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