Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Fingerprint Scans Kill COVID: Study
A study from the University of Missouri Laboratory for Infectious Disease Research (LIDR) has come to the remarkable conclusion that fingerprint scanners tend to kill the COVID-19 virus. According to the LIDR researchers, the electroluminescent (EL) film technology used in most fingerprint scanners kills most coronavirus molecules through the generation of an electric field. Whereas many organizations shied away from the use of fingerprint scanners during the pandemic for fear that their shared surfaces would help spread the virus, the new research suggests the opposite may have been true. The LIDR researchers used a Light Emitting Sensor from Integrated Biometrics in their investigation.
LAPD Data Dump Prompts Fears Over Cartels’ Facial Recognition Tech
Drug cartels and other relatively sophisticated organized crime groups almost certainly have facial recognition technology at their disposal, and are expected to use it to identify undercover police after a massive, erroneous disclosure by the Los Angeles Police Department. In a response to a freedom of information request from a journalist, the LAPD provided a database of the names, images, and badge numbers of over 9,000 officers, and inadvertently included officers working undercover. Noting the state of the art of today’s facial recognition technology, a police union spokesperson said “you’d be out of your mind” to disclose the information, which began circulating online in March.
Onfido Reaches $28.5M BIPA Settlement
Onfido has received preliminary approval for a $28.5 million settlement of a proposed class action lawsuit under Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The company has been accused of failing to obtain explicit consent for its collection of face biometrics data in its identity verification services, provided through partner OfferUp, an online marketplace. If approved, the settlement would be paid out to a class comprising 671,000 members.
Florida Senate Approves Privacy Law
The Florida Senate has approved a new privacy law, the Florida Digital Bill of Rights, which imposes certain requirements upon companies with over $1 billion in revenues. These requirements include an obligation to provide data breach notices for compromised biometric data, and to provide notice if a consumer’s biometric data will be sold to third parties or used for targeted advertising. Unlike Illinois’s BIPA, the Florida legislation does not entail a private right of action, but must instead be enforced by the Florida Department of Legal Affairs. It now requires the signature of Governor Ron DeSantis to become law.
Turkish Government Deploys Biometric Identification App
The Turkish government appears to have developed a mobile app that can identify citizens with a face scan. The app, dubbed “KİM” (or “Who” in English) was demonstrated by Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on a YouTube show called Shiftdelete. Soylu used the state-developed app to take a photo of the show’s host; the app then displayed information about the host on the screen of the Interior Minister’s phone.
MTRIX Integrates Veridium’s Passwordless Tech
Veridium’s passwordless authentication solutions will be integrated into the platform of MTRIX, a Germany-based provider of authentication solutions to businesses including BMW, VGH, and Heckler & Koch. Veridium’s solutions include fingerprint- and face-based authentication systems. In a statement, MTRIX founder and CEO Malte Kahrs explained that his firm is “always on the looking for new solutions” for MTRIX customers, adding, “We are glad that our search led us to Veridium and that we can expand our portfolio with this innovative solution for passwordless authentication that’s effective, frictionless and consistent across platforms.”
Cerence Delivers Q2 Update
Cerence, the automotive voice interaction technology specialist, has announced the results for its fiscal year’s second quarter, ended March 31, 2023. GAAP revenues came in at $68.4 million, compared to revenues of $86.3 million in the same quarter of 2022. Adjusted EBITDA amounted to $2.5 million, compared to $24 million a year ago. But CEO Stefan Ortmanns emphasized that bookings were up 11 percent in the first half of fiscal 2023, compared to the second half of fiscal 2022. And he highlighted Cerence’s product innovations, including “a new, internally developed voice biometrics engine.”
Crypto ‘Wallet-as-a-Service’ Supports Biometric Access
A new crypto wallet solution leverages mobile authentication mechanisms, including biometric authentication, for user access. Developed by Paris-based Dfns, the solution is a “wallet-as-a-service”, offering a framework that other crypto firms can use to build their own cryptocurrency wallets. It supports the use of facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, or PINs to access a cryptographic key stored on the user’s mobile device. It’s currently available in beta form.
May 9, 2023 – by Alex Perala