Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
‘Please Scan Faces Responsibly’
Amazon is rolling out “warning cards” about the limitations of some of its AI products, somewhat along the lines of nutrition labels or warnings on cigarette cartons. According to a report from Reuters, one of the cards concerns Amazon’s Rekognition facial recognition engine, warning that the system is not effective in comparing “images that are too blurry and grainy for the face to be recognized by a human, or that have large portions of the face occluded by hair, hands, and other objects.” The move is aimed at improving transparency about Amazon’s AI products.
EA Sports, Google Face Privacy Actions
ClassAction.org and Milberg, a law firm specializing in class action lawsuits, are inviting gamers in Illinois to sign up for a mass arbitration effort directed at the video game maker EA Sports. The latter offers a ‘Game Face’ feature for some of its products that lets an end user upload a picture of their face so that a digital version can be mapped onto a virtual avatar. ClassAction.org says it’s “possible” that EA violated the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by collecting players’ biometrics without obtaining written consent and disclosing how the data would be used, and suggests that the mass arbitration could result in as much as $1,000 or more being paid out to each claimant.
Google is facing a new biometric privacy lawsuit in Louisiana that will test whether the state’s privacy protections have the same sharp teeth as those in Illinois. The lawsuit, which has moved to a federal district court in New Orleans, alleges that Google collected and sold users’ biometric data in violation of biometric data protections enshrined in Louisiana in 2018. Google settled a similar lawsuit brought under Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act for $100 million earlier this year.
Facial Recognition to Find Ukraine’s Lost Pets
A new nonprofit called the Ukrainian Animals War Relief fund has launched with the aim of rescuing the millions of domesticated pets that have been displaced as a result of Russia’s invasion. The nonprofit says it will work to spay, neuter, and vaccinate the animals; create an NFT for each abandoned dog or cat to help raise funds for food and medicine; and build a database of lost pets that can be searched using facial recognition technologies.
Serbia Deploys Huawei Surveillance Tech
The Serbian government is in the midst of deploying a planned 8,000 surveillance cameras from Huawei that feature facial recognition capabilities, according to an investigation by RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. That having been said, the government has faced criticism from privacy and human rights activists, and says it has not yet enabled the cameras’ facial recognition software. The investigation’s publication comes on the heels of the US Federal Communications Commission’s ban on the domestic sale of new devices from Huawei.
Product Launches From Aratek, Innovatrics
Aratek has launched a new ‘Biometric Border Control Kiosk Machine’ that features an a face-scanning camera that automatically adjusts for height, and an integrated fingerprint scanner that Aratek says is “FBI-certified”. It will showcase the new kiosk at the the 6th Border Management and Identity Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, which is slated to run from December 7 to December 9.
Innovatrics has announced a new SDK specifically designed for biometric enrolment across all of the modalities supported across its product portfolio. Previously, Innovatrics’ ABIS enrolment SDK was offered as a set of libraries requiring a complex implementation process that could take an entire week of development. The new SDK, based on a gRPC API, embeds all of the libraries into a single service.
IDEX, Nok Nok Labs, and Oura Enter New Partnerships
IDEX Biometrics has partnered with Pune-based M-Tech Innovations in an effort to target its biometric payment card solution at the India market. M-Tech offers technological solutions to the country’s financial services sector, and is certified by Mastercard, Visa, and RuPay. The partnership will see M-Tech offer a biometric card solution featuring IDEX’s TrustedBio sensor module and Infineon’s SLC38 secure microcontroller, starting in 2023. M-Tech previously announced a biometric payment cards partnership with Fingerprint Cards in late 2020.
UberEther, a provider of identity and access management solutions to the federal government, has partnered with Nok Nok Labs. In announcing their partnership, the companies did not go into detail about the specifics of their collaboration, but explained that it would bring “innovative cybersecurity capabilities” to UberEther’s IAM Advantage platform. “Once UberEther is fully FedRAMP authorized, it will have one of the only private-tenant, cloud identity solutions available in the federal marketplace that government agencies use to find compliant, FedRAMP-approved cloud services,” the companies asserted.
Own It, a mobile app designed to help coach student and professional athletes, will integrate support for the Oura Ring, thanks to a partnership between Oura and Own It parent company MaxOne. The Oura Ring is designed to collect fine-grained biometric data pertaining to fitness metrics, and has itself been marketed primarily at the professional sports sector. “By providing the student-athlete with access to their own biometrics and personalized recommendations for lifestyle changes, the athlete is guided towards improvements in recovery, sleep, and overall health and wellness,” explained MaxOne CEO Jason Mejeur.
Biometrics Find Brits Love ‘Secret Santa’
Face biometrics technology has helped Kantar, a marketing analysis firm, to conclude that Cadbury’s “Secret Santa” ad is the most effective Christmas ad of the year so far. In making its assessment, Kantar polled more than 3,750 consumers, and used face biometrics technology to assess viewers’ emotional responses to the ad. Kantar UK’s “head of creative excellence”, Lynne Deason, said that the firm’s research found that ads were generally “more enjoyable this year than last and created a higher feel-good factor, giving a much-needed boost to the people of Britain.”
November 30, 2022 – by Alex Perala