Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Insurer Must Protect Clearview AI Data Broker: Appeals Court
A 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed that an insurer must provide coverage to a data broker being sued under Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The lawsuit concerns Wynndalco Enterprises, which sold access to Clearview AI’s web-trawling facial recognition platform to another data broker, which sold it to the Chicago Police Department. The lawsuit, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, alleged that the arrangement violated privacy protections afforded under BIPA. Wynndalco sought insurance protection from Citizens Insurance Co. of America, which filed its own lawsuit asking a court to declare that its exemption policy for violations of statutes meant it doesn’t have to provider coverage for Wynndalco. But US District Court Judge John Z. Lee found that Citizens’ exemption policy was so broad that a literal interpretation would exempt even some of the claims that Citizens’ insurance policy explicitly says it covers. The appeals court agrees with that assessment.
Texas AG Demands Meta Facial Recognition Documents From Pfizer
Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton has ordered Pfizer to turn over any records it holds concerning the use of facial recognition by Facebook parent Meta, a result of Pfizer’s participation in social media advertizing programs run by the latter. The demand stems from the AG’s lawsuit filing against Meta in early 2022, which argued that Meta’s use of biometric technology violated the privacy rights of Texans. While Texas’s biometric privacy protections share some similarities with those offered through Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act, in Texas there is no private right of action, meaning the state itself must enforce the law, rather than leaving it to consumer-led lawsuits. Pfizer is one of many companies that have been subpoenaed in the investigation.
House Reps Ask HUD to Ban Facial Recognition
US Representatives Maxine Waters of California and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts have asked the head of the country’s Housing and Urban Development agency (HUD) to prohibit the use of facial recognition technology for surveillance in public and HUD-assisted housing. In a letter to HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, the lawmakers said they would continue to push for legislation that would require such restrictions on the technology’s use, but urged the agency to act now, on its own accord, to implement the prohibition.
IDEX Receives Major Production Order
IDEX Biometrics has received a volume production order valued at nearly $1 million for its IDEX Pay biometric payment card solution. The company did not disclose the name of the client in question, but called it “a leading European manufacturer” that will serve banks launching fingerprint-scanning cards in Bangladesh, India, and Turkey. The company had said in its fiscal update for 2022 that the year saw “an inflection point” in the emerging biometric payment card market. Now, CEO Vince Graziani says the new production order offers “another validation of strong market demand and rapid acceleration, in line with recent announcements of banks across Europe and Asia launching biometric payment cards.”
Call Center Tech Specialist Announces AI Upgrades
Santa Barbara-based Invoca has updated its call center AI platform with new capabilities including a voice recognition system that can automatically identify which agent handled a given call, a potentially important solution for businesses in which calls made through multiple locations are routed through a single phone number. Other enhancements include an event classification system that can be trained to identify certain moments in conversations, such as successful sales; and a AI-generated call recap tool.
Daon Onboarding Fights ‘Smurfing’ in e-Sports
Daon is providing biometric identity verification technology to ESL FACEIT Group (EFG) to help the latter prevent fraud on its e-sports platform. The aim is to stop fraudsters from doing things like “smurfing”, in which they disguise their identities in order to face lower-ranked opponents — a way of racking up easy wins. With Daon’s onboarding solution in place, EFG customers will have the option of either fully verifying their identity by uploading a selfie and identity document (with facial recognition used to match them), or simply confirming their face with a selfie, enabling biometric authentication at each subsequent login.
June 16, 2023 – by Alex Perala