Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
EU Members Reach Agreement On AI Act
Member states of the European Union have reached a unanimous agreement on the planned Artificial Intelligence Act, with deputy ambassadors formally approving a compromise text that was reached in December. There were reportedly still serious differences concerning the AI Act, with Austria concerned about data protection provision, Germany and France worried about how it would impact their own tech industries, and qualms about facial recognition provisions among privacy advocates who felt the regulations were too lax. But diplomatic maneuvering saved the day, with the creation of an enforcement body called the EU Artificial Intelligence Office going some way to reassure the anxious, according to Politico. Next steps for the proposed legislation include a committee vote this month, followed by a plenary vote that will likely occur in April.
Tunisian Parliament Mulls ID Upgrade
Tunisia’s parliament is considering a bill that would see the country’s laminated ID cards replaced by chip-embedded cards that store biometric data. The bill had previously been introduced in 2020, but its passage through parliamentary review was disrupted when President Kais Saied suspended parliament the following year. Parliament resumed under a new constitution in early 2023. Concerning the ID modernization idea, some MPs are pushing for clear safeguards for citizens’ sensitive data before giving the bill their approval.
Australia Sets Tentative Date for Digital ID Launch
Australia’s Department of Finance has set July 1st as the tentative launch date of the country’s planned digital ID system. Speaking to ChannelNews Australia, officials downplayed concerns about the federal digital ID system overlapping with those of state governments like New South Wales and Victoria. “Our intent is for a person to be able to choose a Digital ID provider, set-up their Digital ID and then use it when and where they choose, to access private and public sector services,” an official explained. Read the full story on Mobile ID World.
IDEMIA Announces Major Corporate Reorganization
IDEMIA has announced substantial structural changes that have reorganized the company into three distinct Divisions: IDEMIA Secure Transactions (IST), which is focused on payment and connectivity technologies; a security- and travel-focused IDEMIA Public Security (IPS) Division; and IDEMIA Smart Identity (ISI), which is focused on physical and digital ID solutions. The announcement comes almost two years after a Reuters report revealed unannounced plans to sell IDEMIA on the part of its parent company. Read our full story.
Maine High School Prepares for Biometric Attendance
A Maine high school has reached a deal with IdentiMetrics to implement a fingerprint-based attendance system for students. In a letter to parents of students who attend Aroostook County’s Caribou High School, Principal Jamie Selfridge explained that the system will be integrated with the school’s existing “PowerSchool” student management system, and emphasized that IdentiMetrics’ software “adheres to strict privacy guidelines, and it will only be used for attendance purposes within our school environment.”
Apple Launches Iris-Scanning Headset
Apple has officially launched its Vision Pro headset, marking iris biometrics’ formal entry into the company arsenal of sophisticated biometric authentication systems. Like Touch ID and Face ID on the iPhone, Optic ID on the Vision Pro is meant to offer the user quick and convenient access to the device, with hi-res LED sensors capturing the user’s biometric data. Optic ID can also be used to auto-fill passwords and to perform transactions, assuming the user has money to spare after forking over some $3,500 for the device.
February 2, 2024 – by Alex Perala