Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Veriff Settles BIPA Lawsuit for $4 Million
Veriff has reached a $4 million settlement in a class action lawsuit filed against the company under Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The identity verification specialist was accused of failing to obtain explicit consent from subjects whose biometric data it collected, as required under BIPA. Veriff has not admitted wrongdoing, but has agreed to pay out the settlement to claimants whose data was collected between November 12 of 2016 and December 5 of 2022. Claimants are expected to receive between $300 and $600.
Lawyers Take Aim at Airbnb
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are canvassing for Illinois residents who used a biometric identity verification system when creating an account with the home-sharing platform Airbnb. As the organizers explain in an online post, they “have reason to believe Airbnb may have violated Illinois privacy law by collecting and storing facial scans from users’ photos and IDs, uploaded for verification purposes.” Their aim is to bring Airbnb to mass arbitration, rather than to launch a class action lawsuit.
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IDEMIA Gets Top 1:N Ranking in NIST FRVT
IDEMIA’s facial recognition algorithm for 1:N matching attained the top ranking in the latest round of testing via the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT), considered the gold standard in independent biometrics testing. Besting 113 other competitors, NIST’s solution got the top spot with an accuracy rate of 99.98 percent, scanning a database of 12 million face images. The company’s facial recognition technology is used in some high-profile deployments around the world, including recent airport passenger screening projects in Australia and the United Arab Emirates.
FPC Partners With Wearables Startup
Fingerprint Cards will provide its fingerprint sensor technology for Flywallet, an Italy-based startup. The latter is best-known for its Keyble wearable device, a multi-function wristband that features an integrated fingerprint sensor for biometric user authentication. But in a statement announcing the partnership, FPC indicated that it would be working with Flywallet on multiple products, with the aim of integrating its biometric hardware and software. The companies will showcase a proof-of-concept wearable device at next week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Greek Mobile ID Takes to the Skies
Greek travelers flying domestic on Aegean Airlines can now use their mobile IDs for boarding, thanks to the airline’s new digital identity application. Developed in collaboration with the country’s Digital Governance Ministry, the digital traveller ID solution builds on a mobile identity system launched by the Greek government last summer. Interested Aegean Airlines passengers can now load their Gov.gr Wallet credentials onto the Aegean ‘Digital ID’ app, enabling them to pair their identification with a digital boarding pass.
Nigeria Prepares for Biometric Elections
Nigeria will conduct elections this Saturday featuring biometric voter verification. Voters will have to submit face and fingerprint scans at the polls, with their biometrics matched against a database of records that the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission has been gathering since 2010. Over 93 million Nigerians are expected to cast ballots, with Nigeria’s being Africa’s largest democracy.
Montana Legislators Weigh Facial Recognition Regulations
Legislators in Montana are considering a new bill that would ban local and state governments from using facial recognition for continuous surveillance, and would restrict its use among law enforcement to certain criminal investigations. Initial hearings began in the legislature’s Business, Labor, and Economic Affairs Committee on Thursday. Bill 397 was proposed by Sen. Kenneth Bogner (R-Miles City), and is opposed by the Montana County Attorney Association and the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officer Association. Legislators are also working on a separate bill that would apply to the use of facial recognition in schools.
Journalist Spoofs Bank’s Voice Recognition System
A Vice journalist used an AI-generated voice to fool his bank’s biometric authentication system into allowing access to his account. Joseph Cox achieved the spoof using a synthetic voice service from ElevenLabs, which he used to mimic his own voice by training it on a five minute clip that he uploaded. The bank in question was Lloyds Bank, which uses a voice recognition system for authentication through its automated, phone-based banking service.
UK Biometrics Commissioner Says Police Have ‘Non-deletion Culture’
The UK’s Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Fraser Sampson, says that the country’s police have a “non-deletion culture” when it comes to biometric data, and that they improperly retain such information even when subjects are not convicted of a crime. Speaking to Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights this week, Sampson said that he has continually found police forces to be hanging onto such records, and that “there are probably several million of those records still.”
February 24, 2023 – by Alex Perala
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