Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
AWS Brings Palm-Scanning System to the Enterprise
Amazon Web Services has officially unveiled “Amazon One Enterprise”, its extension of its palm-scanning Amazon One payments system to access control. That encompasses physical and logical access control, with AWS explaining that the system can be used to secure access to software in addition to physical facilities. Employees of a given organization can be enrolled in Amazon One Enterprise by first scanning their employee ID badge, and then their palm. They can also associate PINs and passwords with the account. Enrolling in Amazon One Enterprise doesn’t automatically enable employees to pay with a palm scan at Whole Foods; it only gets them into their employers’ private collection of registered staff.
South African Agency Seeks Biometric Security
The South African Social Security Agency is looking for a biometric security system for its head office. The system must function with IP surveillance cameras, and must support card readers in addition to enabling biometric access. It must be based on client-server architecture and support multi-site deployment. A ‘compulsory’ briefing session is slated for November 29 at the SASSA head office in Pretoria. The deadline for bids is December 14, 2023.
Short Seller Accuses SenseTime of Inflating Revenues
The US-based short seller group Grizzly Research has accused Hong Kong-based SenseTime of “revenue round-tripping” in a new report, alleging that the company has provided funds to customers enabling the latter to make purchases they wouldn’t otherwise have made. Grizzly Research cites two court cases involving the company in making its claim; SenseTime says the allegation is “without merit”. Grizzly Research made a broader case against the company, arguing that it has “no competitive moat” in AI and that it is “operating a fundamentally dead-ended facial recognition software business,” thanks in part to its placement on a US government sanctions list.
Russian Government Targets Massive Expansion of Biometric Surveillance Program
The Russian government is aiming to have five million facial recognition cameras deployed in the country by 2030, according to a new report from The Bell. While authorities have reportedly had to look for creative cost-cutting measures regarding surveillance projects due to the expenses of the war in Ukraine, the facial recognition goal would still reflect an ambitious expansion of the state’s biometric surveillance powers. A report from this past summer suggested that about half a million cameras had been deployed so far, with most (40 percent) in the city of Moscow.
Anonybit Becomes Prism Report Luminary
Anonybit has reached “Luminary” status in the 2023 Biometric Digital Identity Prism Report, marking the rapid progress that biometrics startup has made since its inception in 2021. Anonybit is known for taking a decentralized approach to biometric data, breaking templates down into component shards that can be safely stored across different servers. The company has been picking up momentum, having raised $3 million in a seed extension round last month. Its ascension to Luminary status also illustrates the nature of the Prism Report as a living document, which is constantly updated to track the evolution of the biometrics and identity industry.
authID Completes $9.4M Capital Raise
authID has raised aggregate gross proceeds of $9.4 million through its registered direct offering, as planned. The company had communicated its capital raising plans last week, when management also revealed that they had doubled their target for Booked Annual Recurring Revenue from $3 million to $6 million by Q2 of 2024. “I want to thank our new and existing investors for this vote of confidence in our future,” said CEO Rhon Daguro. “This financing helps advance authID’s mission to protect the digital ecosystem against fraud and account takeover with market-leading speed, precision, and accuracy in biometric identity solutions.”
‘Router Failure’ Downs Korean Mobile ID for Hours
Koreans were unable to use an official mobile ID app for six hours on Friday due to a service disruption that also temporarily disabled the mobile ID card website, though the latter was down only briefly. The mobile ID is managed by Korea Minting and Security Printing Corp, a government-owned corporation that is mainly known for producing South Korea’s currency as well as certain government documents. In a press conference this weekend, government authorities attributed the disruptions to a suspected router failure, and said that there were no signs of a cyberattack.
November 28, 2023 – by Alex Perala