Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
CLEAR Acquires Sora ID, Enters Financial Services Market
CLEAR has acquired Sora ID, marking its entry into the financial services market. It has already launched a re-branded version of Sora ID’s flagship product, a digital identity credential that can be used across multiple financial services institutions after a single onboarding session, dubbed “One-Click KYC”. The onboarding process includes things like checks against KYC databases and email and IP address validation, with support for an optional facial recognition feature to match an end user to their photo ID. Existing customers already supporting the solution include OpenSea, Karat, Partial.ly, PeerStreet, and ZeroHash. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but Sora ID had reportedly raised $5.3 million in VC funding previously.
British MPs Call for Halt to Facial Recognition in Public
A cross-party coalition of 65 British lawmakers and politicians have issued a joint statement calling on the country’s police and private companies “to immediately stop using live facial recognition for public surveillance.” The country’s minister of policing, Chris Philp, has been increasingly vocal about the need for police to crack down on crime using sophisticated technologies including biometrics. At a policy event during this week’s Conservative party conference, Philp told an audience that he planned to establish a comprehensive criminal database that police will be able to search using facial recognition.
Canadian Privacy Watchdogs Want Updated Laws
Federal, provincial, and territorial privacy watchdogs in Canada have jointly called on their respective governments to update privacy legislation with a new focus on protecting young people and employees. They issued a resolution listing a number of provisions, including a call for employers to recognize “the particularly sensitive nature of biometric information and their high degree of intrusion into the privacy of employees.” The resolution adds that the “use of biometrics must be lawful, necessary, proportional, and only when there is no other effective and less privacy-intrusive way to achieve the objective pursued”.
Freevolt Launches Upgraded Biometric Card
Freevolt Technologies, a UK-based smart card specialist, has launched the second-generation version of its flagship “S-Key” card. It once again features fingerprint sensor technology from Fingerprint Cards, with Freevolt upgrading to the FPC1323 sensor model, part of Fingerprints’ “T2” product line. “Fingerprints have been excellent in supporting the development of S-Key and we are excited about the commercial potential of S-Key and the further innovations that we have in the pipeline, leveraging the excellent performance, security and energy efficiency of the latest FPC 1323 sensor,” said Freevolt’s Head of Product & Business Development, Gonzalo de Gisbert.
Zwipe Gets a New Partner in Texas
Zwipe has established a partnership with NCS, a Houston-based company specializing in cabling, communications, and other enterprise infrastructure. The partnership will see NCS pitching the Zwipe Access solution – Zwipe’s fingerprint-scanning smart card – to its customers. In a statement, Norway-based Zwipe explained that the partnership represents “a significant step toward making biometric system-on-card (BSoC) solutions accessible to customers across Texas.” Zwipe has also been trying to expand the reach of its card solution in the payments market, and recently joined EMVCo’s partnership program to that end.
Massage Guns Can Read Your Heart Rate
Therabody, a Texas-based provider of wellness products, has launched new “Theragun” massage devices with biometric capabilities. The Theragun Pro Plus and Theragun Sense each feature a built-in heart rate monitor aimed at helping the user to engage in breathwork and other relaxation activities.
BIO-key to Participate in Maxim Group Conference
BIO-key will be at next week’s 2023 Virtual Tech Conference Series presented by Maxim Group LLC, with CEO Mike DePasquale slated to participate in the event’s Identity Panel discussion on October 10th. Maxim is an investment bank and wealth management firm, and has invited analysts to discuss new technologies with senior executives at the virtual event, which runs from the 10th to the 11th of October.
IDEMIA to Bring mDLs to Samsung Wallet
IDEMIA is bringing mobile driver’s licenses to the Samsung Wallet, thanks to a new partnership with the consumer tech giant. The company says it will roll out Samsung Wallet-ready mobile IDs in Arizona and Iowa “soon”, with launches in additional states to follow in 2024. Arizona and Iowa have already launched their own, IDEMIA-made mobile IDs. Samsung is working to get its own particular mDLs to be accepted by the Transportation Security Administration, which has been piloting the use of such digital credentials across a number of airports this year.
October 6, 2023 – by Alex Perala