Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Louis Vuitton BIPA Case Dismissed
A lawsuit against fashion brand Louis Vuitton under Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) has been dismissed at the request of plaintiffs and the defendant, suggesting a settlement has been reached. The lawsuit had concerned the use of biometrics in an online ‘virtual try-on tool’, with Louis Vuitton accused of failing to obtain end users’ explicit consent and failing to provide the proper disclosures. Other brands are facing similar suits over virtual try-on tools, including Estée Lauder, Bobbi Brown Professional Cosmetics, Too Faced Cosmetics, and Smashbox Beauty.
UK MPs Call On Retailer to End Use of FRT
A cross-party group of almost 50 members of the United Kingdom’s parliament have written a public letter urging Frasers Group, a retailer, to end its use of facial recognition for store security. Fraser Group owns the brands House of Fraser and Sports Direct, with the latter having recently deployed a biometric surveillance solution from Facewatch. After a formal complaint from the privacy and civil rights advocate Big Brother Watch, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office opened an investigation into Facewatch, determining that it is compliant with the UK Data Protection Law.
Oura Ring Comes to Best Buy
The Oura ring, beloved by celebrities for its sleep and health tracking capabilities, is now available to everyday shoppers thanks to an arrangement with Best Buy. The biometric wearable can be purchased online or from 850 retail outlets across America. Oura Health had already dipped its toes into the luxury segment of consumer retail last year, though, thanks to a partnership with Gucci.
Singapore’s Changi Expands Biometric Passenger Screening
Singaporean authorities have expanded the availability of biometric screening at the country’s Changi Airport to a greater array of foreign nationals, offering the service to travelers from 51 jurisdictions (up from an initial 16) including Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Australia. Eligible foreign travelers have their passports, faces, and irises scanned in order to take advantage of expedited and automated screening.
Onbe Integrates Behavioral Biometrics
Onbe, a leading disbursements financial technology company with offices in Chicago, London, and Philadelphia, is now using behavioral biometrics technology from BioCatch to fight fraud. The technology has been integrated into OnbeGuard, an anti-fraud tool that analyzes spending patterns. Onbe’s Chief Delivery Officer, Melissa Hentschel, explained that the integration is part of Onbe’s ongoing effort to “calibrate” its “model-based anti-fraud offerings”.
QNAP, Hailo Partner On Facial Recognition Surveillance Solution
Taiwan-based QNAP Systems has partnered with AI-focused chip maker Hailo, integrating the latter’s technology with its own “QVR Face” facial recognition solution and its “QVR Human” people counting system. The end result is a surveillance system that the companies are pitching as a highly scalable yet cost-effective security solution. The partnership has effectively made QNAP a distributor of the Hailo-8 M.2 2280 B+M key module, which can be added to a QNAP surveillance server in order to boost the efficiency of its AI performance.
Q1 Results From FPC, Zwipe
Fingerprint Cards has issued its Q1 results, showing the impact of subdued demand for the smartphones and PCs that use the company’s fingerprint sensor technology, as well as “intense price competition”, in the words of CEO and Acting President Ted Hansson. Revenues came in at SEK 117 million, a 61 percent drop from Q1 of 2022; and the company’s negative EBITDA deepened by 498 percent, reaching SEK -60.2 million. But FPC anticipates a gradual improvement in sales volumes and gross margin from the second quarter of 2023.
For biometric cards specialist Zwipe, the highlight of Q1 was a successful rights issuance that enabled the company to raise NOK 100 million in capital that will help the company on its journey to commercialization. Revenues for the quarter came in at NOK 1.7 million, compared to revenues of NOK 0.6 million a year ago. Thanks to the rights issue, the company’s cash and cash equivalents now stand at NOK 121.9 million, compared to NOK 130.6 million at the end of Q1 of 2022. Zwipe says it has substantially lowered planned expenditures for 2023, and anticipates a lower monthly burn rate in comparison to last year.
April 25, 2023 – by Alex Perala
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