Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Spanish Police to Launch Thales-made Facial Recognition System
Spain’s national police forces are preparing to launch a facial recognition system that will initially be used to investigate serious crimes, according to a report from El País. Dubbed ‘Cogent’, the system was developed by Thales, and authorities with Spain’s Ministry of Interior have been working to prepare its deployment for about three years. This past summer, the Interior began working with the Spanish Agency for Data Protection (AEPD) to assess potential risks to privacy and other citizen rights. Police authorities insist that it will not be used for live surveillance.
Emirates, Dubai Airport Extend Biometric Screening to International Travelers
The Emirates airline has established an agreement with Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) that will enable international travelers to enjoy biometric screening at Terminal 3 of the Dubai International Airport starting next year. The biometric screening system, which is based on facial recognition, had previously only been available to residents of the United Arab Emirates and to nationals of the Gulf Cooperation Council. International travelers will be able to sign up through the Emirates app, or at kiosks in the airport.
Ghana Sets Deadline for Biometric SIM Registration
Ghana’s Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD) has announced that all SIM cards held by individuals who have not registered their biometrics will be deactivated on November 30. The country has been undergoing a two-phase SIM registration effort, with the first phase linking an individual’s national ID card to their SIM, and the second phase entailing biometric registration. So far, about 70 percent of SIM card holders in the country have completed both phases of registration, and the Ministry says it has already seen a reduction in SIM-related fraud.
AWS Develops Facial Biometrics Bias Prediction Method
Amazon Web Services researchers have developed a novel method for detecting potential bias in facial recognition algorithms that does not require the costly process of annotating subjects’ identity data across a vast number of images. Instead, the method estimates a given algorithmic model’s accuracy across different demographic groups; and according to AWS Senior Applied Scientist Siqi Deng, “experiments indicate that those estimates are accurate enough to detect the differences in performance indicative of bias.”
Jack Henry Becomes IDScan.net Partner
Jack Henry, a financial technology consultancy, has partnered with IDScan.net, agreeing to offer the latter’s technology to its financial services clients through its OpenAnywhere platform. IDScan.net’s solution comprises identity document scanning, facial recognition, and liveness detection. It has already been embraced by Arkansas-based Simmons Bank, whose Chief Digital Officer commented in a statement that the solution enables account creation “in less than five minutes.”
Swiggy Works With Indian Academic on Selfie Onboarding
India-based food delivery service Swiggy is working with researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Jodhpur (IITJ), to develop a facial recognition system for identity verification. Swiggy’s VP of Applied Research, Hemant Misra, explained that the solution “would streamline comprehensive background checks for delivery partners and help us control and reduce impersonation as well as fraud.”
Semiconductor Companies Unveil Computer Vision Reference Design
The American semiconductor companies Onsemi and Alif Semiconductor have jointly developed a reference design for a low-power computer vision camera offering applications in “security cameras, biometric ID passage control, retail management, and smart eyewear,” the companies said in a statement. “We’ve incorporated onsemi’s sensor onto our development kit making it quite simple for developers to build their own AI imaging products,” explained Alif Semiconductor’s VP of Marketing, Mark Rootz.
OwnID Launches Passkey Plugin for WooCommerce
OwnID has launched a WordPress plugin that enables sites with WooCommerce stores to let customers use passwordless authentication via the recently launched Passkey system that was jointly developed by Apple, Google, Microsoft, FIDO, and W3C. The OwnID plugin is free, and supports up to 10,000 logins per month. Consumers who shop on WooCommerce sites that embrace the solution will be able to log into their accounts through a biometric scan on their personal device, with no need to enter password credentials.
Banked, Privy Announce Funding Rounds
Banked, a London-based FinTech company, has raised more then $15 million in a Series A “extension round”, the company has announced. The funding round was led by Insight Partners, and featured contributions from Citi, National Australia Bank Ventures, and Rapyd, a new commercial partner. Banked offers a payments platform designed to let users perform transactions without needing to create an account or provide login information; instead, they pay via their existing bank at checkout, and confirm the purchase through biometric authentication via that bank’s mobile app.
Indonesia-based e-signature specialist Privy has announced a $48 million Series C funding round led by global investment firm KKR and featuring contributions from MDI Ventures, GGV Capital, Telkomsel Mitra Inovasi, and Singtel Innov8. Operating through a mobile app, Privy’s solution asks end users to submit identity documents for verification, and to then enter a One-Time Password to set up an account; and the company has an agreement with the Indonesian Directorate General of Population and Civil Registration, Ministry of Homeland Affairs, to access national identity data including face biometrics.
Don’t Ask About His Rider
The latest episode of ‘”The Data Diva” Talks Privacy Podcast’ features an in-depth interview with FindBiometrics Editor in Chief Peter Counter. The podcast is hosted by privacy expert Debbie Reynolds, who worked with Counter on FindBiometrics’ popular BIPA Checklist; and this episode finds Peter bringing his biometrics expertise to bear on a number of important privacy questions through an entertaining and insightful dialog with the Debbie. But who is the real diva, between the two? That’s an identity question that goes unanswered.
November 15, 2022 – by Alex Perala