Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Leidos Faces DOJ Investigations
Leidos is being investigated by the Department of Justice, its Q3 filings have revealed. The company has been subpoenaed for documents pertaining to two separate investigations, including one from the DOJ’s antitrust division and one from its fraud division. Leidos is a major federal government contractor, and has been involved in high-profile biometrics projects. As FedScoop reports, the DOJ’s antitrust investigation pertains to three government procurements concerning Leidos’s intelligence group, while the fraud investigation follows Leidos’s self-reported conduct that may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Liberia’s Supreme Court Rejects Ekemp Complaint
The Supreme Court of Liberia has dismissed a petition from the Chinese biometrics firm Ekemp concerning its alleged mistreatment in the National Elections Commission’s bidding process for a biometric voter registration project, according to a Daily Observer report. The Court had determined that Ekemp had not yet exhausted its non-judicial options for remedy – namely going to the the Public Procurement Concession Commission, the NEC’s oversight body.
Europol Rules Raise Risk of Unethical Biometrics ‘Laundering’: Report
New rules governing the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation – or ‘Europol’ – this year have raised the risk of biometric privacy rights violations, argues a new report from Statewatch. The civil rights watchdog points out that the rules enable Europol to provide “third-country sourced biometric data” to EU police forces, raising the risk that data obtained in violation of human rights will be “laundered” through the EU’s policing apparatus.
Korea’s Naver Pitches Tech for NEOM
The Korean IT company Naver pitched a number of technological solutions including facial recognition to Saudi officials involved in planning Saudi Arabia’s ‘Neom’ smart city project, which entails the construction of a sprawling metropolis from scratch. The Naver representatives accompanied Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Won Hee-ryong on a diplomatic visit this week, and showcased the use of facial recognition for contactless access control, via their ‘Naver Clova’ solution.
Health-tracking wearables specialist BioIntelliSense has entered into a strategic partnership with Medically Home, which specializes in helping healthcare providers deliver care to patients’ homes. The partnership will see the latter offer BioIntelliSense’s BioButton wearable devices through its solutions portfolio.
Whoop, the biometric wearables company, has entered into a research partnership with Ashley Addiction Treatment. The organizations will use data collected from Whoop’s wearable devices together with subjective patient feedback collected by Ashley to attempt to gain a better understanding of recovery and relapse processes among individuals who have struggled with substance abuse. Whoop is best known for a fitness tracking wristband that has gained a high profile in professional sports, and the company expanded into biometric clothing last year.
Background check specialist Sterling has partnered with Yoti to develop a “digital identity verification workflow” that can be integrated directly into the hiring process, the companies have announced. Their solution will offer end users a reusable digital identity, and the companies plan to target the EMEA and APAC markets specifically, though the “first phase” of their collaboration will begin in the United Kingdom next year.
IDEX Biometrics and Istanbul-based Enqura Information Technology have announced a biometric smart cards-focused partnership. In a statement, Enqura CEO Metin Karabiber suggested that their joint solution, which is expected to reach the commercial market in the first half of next year, will largely be concerned with authentication applications. “Adding biometrics to authenticate sign-in and for access enhances the user experience, removes the need for PINs and passwords, and mitigates the risk of fraud,” he said.
IDEX has also issued an update for the third quarter of its fiscal year. Revenues came in at about $928k, compared to revenues of $732k in Q3 of 2021. But its net loss had also increased, from a loss of about $7.5 million a year ago to a loss of just over $9 million in the latest quarter. Nevertheless, the company emphasized in its update that 2022 has signaled “broad-based commercialization for biometric smart cards,” and noted that IDEX’s management have “outlined a clear roadmap and a path to commercial acceleration during 2023 and beyond.”
Shufti Pro has launched a ‘Risk Profiling’ tool that enables clients to establish custom parameters for the depth of a given digital onboarding process based on risk score thresholds. The solution was announced in a more general business update in which Shufti Pro proclaimed that its Annual Recurring Revenue had increased by 57 percent between June of 2021 and 2022. Known for its selfie-based biometric onboarding technology, the company has also expanded its workforce by 70 percent over the past 12 months.
Local California Politician Spotted in Jan. 6 Surveillance
A local government official in California’s Santa Barbara County has been identified as one of the U.S. Capitol intruders in the January 6 riots. As the Santa Barbara Independent reports, Karen Jones, who currently serves as the President of the Santa Ynez Valley Community Services District, was identified together with her husband in surveillance footage by amateur sleuths who have been using publicly available facial recognition technology to identify the rioters. The security footage has been forwarded to the FBI for further investigation.
November 10, 2022 – by Alex Perala