Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
M&A and Corporate Moves
BioIntelliSense, known for its wearable biometric devices, has acquired AlertWatch, the provider of an eponymous patient monitoring platform. BioIntelliSense’s strategic partner Medtronic will distribute AlertWatch through its hospital network as part of its HealthCast patient monitoring business. Financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
Innovatrics has moved its corporate headquarters to the Lakeside Park 2 building in Bratislava, where it will occupy two floors, explaining that more space is required to accommodate a workforce that has grown 20 percent over the last year. The move comes after Innovatrics opened its US office in Washington, D.C. last month; and stands in contrast to the recent announcement from Aware, another biometrics specialist, that it would be moving its headquarters into a smaller space, in part to “maximize value for shareholders”.
Onfido has a new Chief Product Officer, promoting Yuelin Li from her previous role as the company’s Chief Strategy Officer. In announcing the promotion, Onfido explained that in her new role, Li will be responsible for overseeing the company’s Real Identity Platform, with a focus on “building and delivering market-changing identity solutions that leverage AI and machine learning to continue to simplify and automate digital identity for Onfido’s customers.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is calling on Congress to help push forward the digital transformation of government services, asserting in a new report that the use of paper-based forms costs the federal government $38.7 billion a year. Digitizing those documentation processes would dramatically reduce costs, the agency argues, with Chamber Technology Engagement Center VP Jordan Crenshaw arguing in a blog post that widespread government digitization could generate $1 trillion worldwide annually. Mobile-based digital driver’s licenses are among the technologies highlighted in the report.
The Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) has announced a certification program to assess digital identity services’ compliance with the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework. Dubbed the “Voilà Verified Trustmark Program”, it offers organizations the opportunity to obtain a public-facing trustmark, and is aimed at encouraging the development of provincial-level digital identity solutions.
Refugees and Biometric Border Control
The United Nations’ refugee agency has completed an exercise to issue biometric IDs to Rwanda’s refugee population. In an operational update, the UNHCR indicated that 4,433 refugees had been enrolled since July. Just over 2,300 refugee ID cards have been distributed, and 1,885 “national assessments” enabled refugees who had previously obtained fraudulent Rwandan IDs to exchange them for refugee IDs. The UNHCR has been a vocal proponent of the benefits of biometric IDs for displaced persons.
NEC Malaysia has won a sub-contract for the deployment of a biometric border control system in the country. The contract was awarded by IRIS Information Technology Systems (“IITS”), a subsidiary of IRIS Corporation Berhad and the main contractor in the project. NEC Malaysia’s role will be to provide its Automated Biometric Identification System and its Border Control Solution eGates.
FindBiometrics will host a webinar on November 30 titled “The Reality of Digital Identity in Financial Services”. It will feature a panel discussion focused on the use of biometrics and digital identity technologies in banking, payments, and money transfers. Registration is now open and completely free of charge.
Law Enforcement Biometrics
Police in the Pakistani state of Sindh have unveiled a new mobile policing app with biometric capabilities. Called “Talaash”, the app is designed to enable real-time, in-the-field identification of criminal suspects against the National Database and Registration Authority. It can also reportedly be used to identify a deceased person via fingerprint recognition.
The Polish retail chain Komputronik has begun a biometric payments pilot in partnership with PayEye, an Amsterdam-based startup. The collaboration is allowing interested customers to link payment information to their iris and face biometrics, and to then complete a purchase in-store with only a biometric scan. The trial got underway this week at a Komputronik store in the Korona Shopping Center in Wrocław, and a second deployment at the Magnolia Shopping Center is planned for November.
The South Korean government is planning to use blockchain technology as the foundation for its digital IDs, according to a Bloomberg report. The digital IDs will be available to anyone with a smartphone, and will begin rolling out in 2024, with government officials aiming to get about 45 million citizens signed up within two year. Read the full story on Mobile ID World.
More Pixel Problems
Google’s insistence that its Pixel 7 smartphone’s new facial recognition feature can only be used for unlocking the device is making for some frustrating user experiences with respect to transactions through Google Pay. It’s partly a UX design issue: When making a contactless payment in person, if you unlock the device with a fingerprint scan, the payment will go through right away; but if you unlock it using facial recognition, the payment will be declined. The latter will automatically prompt a re-try using fingerprint authentication, however.
October 18, 2022 – by Alex Perala
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