Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Cyprus Prepares Biometric ID Tender
The Cyprus government’s civil registry and migration department is preparing to announce a tender for a project to upgrade the country’s passports, identity cards, and residence permits. The tender will be valued at about €41 million and will span a six-year timeline, with an option to extend the project another five years. The new documents will be required to include biometric information, including fingerprints and faces; and the tender is expected to be launched in the first quarter, reports The Cyprus Mail.
Years into Aadhaar, India Introduces Liveness Detection for Fingerprints
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), in collaboration with country’s electronics and IT ministry, has developed a liveness detection system for fingerprint scanning used in India’s sprawling Aadhaar national biometric identity system. In a statement, the authorities explained that the system leverages “a combination of both finger minutia and finger image to check the liveness of the finger print captured”. Liveness detection has been recognized as an increasingly important security issue among identity industry professionals in recent years, and the UIDAI may now be catching up after various incidences of fraud under Aadhaar.
Illinois Sees Non-BIPA Biometrics Lawsuit
In something of a novelty, an Illinois court has been presented with a class action lawsuit over biometric data collection that is not being filed under the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Instead, plaintiff Leanne Diment asserts that her employer, Quad/Graphics Inc., violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by increasing her insurance premiums when she refused to submit to biometric health screening under an employee wellness program. ADA bars employers from making employees undertake medical testing that could reveal disabilities.
Malaysian Airport Extends Biometric Screening to Foreigners
Authorities at Kuala Lumpur International Airport have extended a biometric screening option beyond Malaysian travelers, allowing individuals from select “low-risk countries” to enter the country via face-scanning e-gates in a bid to reduce airport congestion. The e-gates use facial recognition to match travelers to their passports in a screening process that takes less than 20 seconds, reports The New Straits Times. The enhanced screening option is available to foreign nationals from Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Germany, the US, and the UK, but only during peak hours of airport congestion.
Hoodie Uses LEDs to Thwart Surveillance Cams
Mac Pierce, a privacy advocate and engineer, has designed a hoodie that features sewn-in LEDs to “blind” surveillance cameras, rendering the wearer’s face invisible through the projection of infrared light. Pierce has published the “Camera Shy Hoodie” design documents online under a Creative Commons license, encouraging others to build it for themselves. The engineer says it costs about $200 to put the Hoodie together.
CLEAR Comes to Kansas City
CLEAR has brought its expedited passenger processing system to Kansas City International Airport (MCI), bringing the total number of airports featuring CLEAR lanes to 51. The company says there are now 14 million members in its platform, which enables them to pass more quickly through airport security with eye or fingerprint scans. MCI was already the site of biometric innovation before CLEAR’s arrival: In 2021, SITA and Siemens teamed up on a digital transformation project that would entail the deployment of touchless biometric self-serve kiosks.
MWC: Honor’s New Smartphone
China-based Shenzhen has launched its latest flagship smartphone, the Honor Magic5 Pro. As with previous devices in the company’s portfolio, the new phone supports biometric authentication, via fingerprint and facial recognition. Other phone features highlighted by the company include a triple-camera imaging system, “Novel Display Luminance Enhancement Technology,” and a “Dual-TEE Security System”, designed in collaboration with Qualcomm, to protect user data. The device was unveiled at this year’s Mobile World Congress, now underway in Barcelona.
OIX Comes Out Against Government Digital ID
The Open Identity Exchange (OIX), a nonprofit trade group focused on digital ID, has formally opposed the idea of government-managed digital ID systems. The OIX took its stance in response to a policy paper from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, which recommended that the UK establish an official virtual ID wallet that could store passports, driver’s licenses, and other documents on a user’s smartphone. “In our view, government should focus on issuing user managed ID proofs into certified private sector smart digital IDs, or wallets,” explained OIX Chief Executive Nick Mothershaw.
February 28, 2023 – by Alex Perala
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