Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
BIPA: New Trial for BNSF, and a Lawsuit Against a Law Firm
BNSF Railway’s settlement negotiations for its lawsuit under Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) “have not been fruitful,” according to its new legal team, and as a result the company will be heading back to court. A ruling last fall had found that BNSF violated BIPA through its collection of truck drivers’ biometric data, resulting in up to $228 million in damages; but an appeals court later decided that the damages should be decided by a jury. Since then, BNSF has retained new legal counsel and sought to reach a settlement — unsuccessfully. A new trial date has been set for October 2.
A Chicago law firm is now facing a BIPA lawsuit of its own, from a former secretary. Nancy Gagen alleges that the firm, Mandell Menkes, required her to use a fingerprint-scanning biometric time and attendance system, and that it never obtained her written consent for the collection of her biometric data, nor did it provide the necessary disclosures about data retention, etc. She is seeking statutory damages.
Scott Air Force Base Launches Biometric Entry System
Illinois’s Scott Air Force Base has launched a face-based access system at one of its entry lanes. Administrators were reportedly still searching for an appropriate biometric solution at the state of this year; now, the “Scott Pass 2.0” system is in place for interested parties who wish to register, allowing them to replace the previously required PIN entry with a face scan. It’s the latest sign of the US military’s embrace of biometric access control, with the Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Alabama currently preparing to pilot a face-based access system developed in collaboration with IDEMIA NSS.
Facial Recognition Catches Fraudster Who Assumed Dead Brother’s Identity
Facial recognition technology used by the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles matched an 86-year-old man to two different identities, leading to his arrest and conviction on several charges of fraud. He is alleged to have been collecting Social Security benefits under both his own name and that of his brother, who died as an infant. The accused, Napoleon Gonzalez, had claimed he was directed to assume his deceased brother’s identity by the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations in the 1960s, as part of an undercover investigation in which he participated. He plans to appeal.
VisionLabs’ Latest Biometric Solution Finds Market in UAE
VisionLabs has launched the latest version of its flagship biometric access control system, Luna Ace 2, which is based on facial recognition. The access terminal has a compact, smartphone-like form factor with a 7″ screen; and VisionLabs says it has secured a contract with authorities in the United Arab Emirates that will see Luna Ace 2 devices integrated into “infrastructure.” VisionLabs has a somewhat constrained addressable market; the company was acquired by Russia’s biggest mobile operator, MTS, in 2021, and wound up on a US exports blacklist earlier this year.
Onfido Tech Supports Decentralized Governance in Web3
Onfido’s selfie-based identity verification technology is being used in Web3 infrastructure. The company’s partner 0xKYC leveraged Onfido’s tech in a plugin, called “1VOTE”, designed for Aragon, a framework that allows a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) to create a Non-Transferable Token that represents an end user’s membership in the DAO and their right to vote. DAOs are a kind of democratized corporation built on blockchain technology (hence “decentralized”); so the Aragon solution allows them to verify that each DAO member is a unique individual, thanks to Onfido’s biometric IDV technology.
Vouched Pitches Selfie-Based Patient ID to Healthcare Sector
Seattle-based Vouched has announced a version of its selfie-based onboarding solution branded for the healthcare sector, where it can be used for patient identification. The VouchedRx solution maintains at its core the company’s facial recognition and document reading system, with Vouched also announcing a VouchedRx Plus solution that “features designed to meet higher levels of regulatory requirements.” The announcement comes after Vouched teamed up with UK-based Zenoo on a digital ID for refugees earlier this year.
Digital ID Can Aid Compliance With Australia’s New Self-Exclusion Rules for Gaming
Australia has formally established a new “National Self-Exclusion Register” for problem gamblers that imposes more stringent identity verification guidelines on gaming operators, and at least one digital ID specialist is pitching its tech as a compliance solution. Noting that the “BetStop” NSER rules will require online gambling operators to verify customers as soon as they sign up, rather than within the traditional 72-hour timeframe, Yoti argues that its Digital ID app automatically matches end users to their official identity documents, potentially allowing gaming operators to leverage the Digital ID for near-instant onboarding.
August 23, 2023 – by Alex Perala