Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Compromises Lift Blanket Ban on Remote Biometric Identification in AI Act Draft
European Union officials have circulated a compromise draft of the proposed AI Act that allows for the use of ‘remote biometric identification’ (RBI) tools such as facial recognition. A cross-party majority of the European Parliament had previously voted in favor of a blanket ban on the technology, but the latest draft would allow police to use the technology to track down suspects accused of serious offenses, and would allow the use of systems designed for military or national security applications. In exchange for these provisions, EU Parliamentarians were able to extend the list of banned AI applications to cover AI systems that scrape the internet for face images, as well as AI systems that categorize people based on demographics.
IDEMIA, Sopra Steria to Upgrade French Fingerprint System
Sopra Steria and IDEMIA have won a contract to upgrade the fingerprint identification system used by the French Justice and Interior ministries. The FAED (“Fichier Automatisé des Empreintes Digitales”) database was first implemented in 1990. IDEMIA and Sopra Steria will build out “FAED 3”, which will need to be interoperable with EU police systems so that the French Justice Ministry can access the European Commission’s ECRIS TCN criminal record database. Sopra Steria and IDEMIA have teamed up before, including on a border control system ordered by the French Ministry of the Interior in 2021.
Court Pauses Samsung’s BIPA Arbitration Order
Samsung has won at least a temporary reprieve from a recent court decision ordering it to pay millions of dollars in administrative fees for arbitration concerning alleged violations of the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). A 7th Circuit appeals court has put a pause on the order and agreed to fast-track Samsung’s appeal of the case, which concerns the use of facial recognition technology in Samsung devices. Moving to arbitration is part of Samsung’s terms of service, but the company argues that the arbitrator itself is supposed to decide which party pays for administrative fees.
Belgian Pro Soccer Club Trials Biometric Stadium Entry
KAA Gent, a professional soccer club affiliated with the Belgian Pro League, has begun trialling a biometric access system at its Ghelamco Arena. It’s using Perfect-ID’s Palmki system, which scans enrolled users’ palm biometrics for authentication. “Based on the results and feedback, further research can be done on how the technology can best be integrated into football stadiums,” said Perfect-ID Director Marc Strackx. The pilot is set to run for 18 months.
Magic Leap Brings “Iris ID” to AR Headset
Magic Leap is adding a biometric authentication capability to its eponymous Augmented Reality headset. The Magic Leap 2 v1.4.0 update includes a new “Iris ID authentication” feature that will allow single sign-on for applications. Magic Leap may be taking a cue from Apple, which introduced an iris-scanning “Optic ID” system for its forthcoming Vision Pro headset earlier this year.
Major Tennis Tournament to Feature Biometric Wearables
Biometric wearables may play a prominent role in the 2023 Next Gen ATP Finals, a prominent tennis tournament slated to run from November 28 to December 2. In an announcement of the tournament’s rules and ‘innovations’, the Association of Tennis Professionals said that players “will be able to track and visualise biometric data during matches via wearable devices – providing a comprehensive overview of their physical performance and stress responses.”
FacePhi Reports Strong Revenue Growth in H1 2023
FacePhi has delivered an update on the first half of its 2023 fiscal year, with sales of €9.75 million, a 24 percent increase, year-over-year—an even better result than predicted in the company’s preliminary report. Its net result for the financial year, meanwhile, was a reported loss of just under €4.7 million, compared to a net loss of just over €1 million in the first half of 2022. In a statement, FacePhi explained that it has been in a phase of aggressive growth, as indicated through its establishment of international offices in the EMEA and LATAM regions, and its recently opened offices in the Panoramis Life & Business technology hub in Alicante, Spain.
FIDO Standards Gain Prominence in EU’s Digital ID Architecture
The FIDO Alliance is celebrating the growing prominence of its standards in European Union frameworks. In a new blog post, the IDnow Senior Architect Sebastian Elfors notes that a report from ENISA, the EU Cybersecurity Agency, outlined FIDO’s various authentication standards, and determined that they have a high level of maturity, reaffirming its recommendation of their use in two-factor authentication. A more recent report from ETSI, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, details the integration of FIDO standards into the EUDI Wallet program via the W3C WebAuthn protocol. “It will be interesting to follow the continued development of the EUDI Wallet implementations and the related Large Scale Pilots – it is quite likely that FIDO will be deployed in such solutions across the EU,” Elfors concludes.
November 10, 2023 – by Alex Perala