Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Report Flags French Police’s ‘Illegal’ Use of Facial Recognition
The investigative journalism outlet Disclose says it has obtained internal emails and documents proving that France’s national police force has been illegally using surveillance software that includes a facial recognition tool. The system, from Israel-based Briefcam, supports a range of features, and can track individuals based on things like clothing color. But the use of facial recognition would violate the French Informatics and Freedom law, the article says. Speaking to Euractiv, an MP and board member of France’s data protection watchdog said that there are scenarios in which police could use facial recognition without violating the law, such as a retroactive search of video footage under the oversight of a judge.
LexisNexis Risk Solutions Provides Facial Recognition to CBP: Report
LexisNexis Risk Solutions appears to have become a notable facial recognition vendor to US Customs and Border Protection, according to a report from The Intercept. Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal a contract establish in December of 2022, valued at $15.9 million. The Intercept states that the contract contains an “explicit reference to providing ‘LexisNexis Facial Recognition'”, contradicting a fact sheet on LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ website that states the company does not provide facial recognition technology to the Department of Homeland Security, CBP’s parent agency.
UK Police Chiefs Set Up Science and Tech Committee
The United Kingdom’s National Police Chiefs’ Council has revealed plans to set up a science and technology committee, with a pro-innovation tilt. In announcing the move, Chief Constable Gavin Stephens predicted that “science and technology will be the single biggest driver of reform in policing in the coming years,” adding later, “Innovation and all that it brings quite simply enables our workforce to do their jobs better.” There is a growing enthusiasm for technologies including facial recognition in the UK’s policing community, with Policing Commissioner Chris Philp having emerged as a vocal advocate in recent months. Outgoing Biometric & Surveillance Camera Commissioner Fraser Sampson, meanwhile, has warned of a lack of regulatory oversight.
NZ to Roll Out Selfie Login System for Government Services
The New Zealand government is about to begin using selfie-based identity verification technology from Daon for e-services, starting with the Ministry of Social Development, which will launch the Identity Check system on November 20. It will do so amid some public criticism over a lack of testing for demographic bias, and particularly racial bias, which was document in a recent report from the MSD itself. The Department of Internal Affairs has responded to this criticism, saying recent tests on 250 individuals yielded a 90 percent accuracy rating, though these tests did not consider ethnic variables. That having been said, the DIA has reportedly contracted an external consultant to re-train the algorithm to better perform on New Zealand’s particular population mix.
Volunteer Group Uses PimEyes in Effort to Identify the Dead
An American volunteer group has been using facial recognition technology from PimEyes to help identify deceased individuals who couldn’t be named by government authorities. The group, “Thee Unidentified”, was founded by 24-year-old Riona Lee, who was inspired by stories from her mother, who worked for New York’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Thee Unidentified’s use of PimEyes ramped up after early efforts to identify the dead went viral on Facebook and TikTok.
BioIntelliSense Tech to Monitor Bone Marrow Transplant Patients
California’s UC Davis Health, an academic health center and research hub, will collaborate with BioIntelliSense on an in-hospital patient monitoring initiative that will leverage the latter’s BioButton wearable. Patients hospitalized for bone marrow transplants will be equipped with the device, which will be used to scan for subtle changes in vital sign trends that could result in actionable clinical insights. “Identifying patients with meaningful signs of deterioration before the point of critical illness is the key to avoiding a potential health crisis and improving patient outcomes,” explained Jason Adams, an associate professor of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine and director of Data and Analytics Strategy with UC Davis Health Innovation Technology.
Survey Data Track Passwordless Transition
New survey research commissioned by San Francisco-based Delinea has found that a majority of the 300 US IT decision makers polled believe their organization is at least a year away from implementing passwordless authentication. Thirty-six percent said they were one to two years away, while 21 percent estimated it would take three to four years. Thirty percent of those polled said their organization’s transition to passwordless authentication is already underway.
Vision-Box Announces ‘Free Flow’ at Dubai Airshow
Lisbon-based Vision-Box has launched a new brand name for its automated passenger processing solutions at this week’s Dubai Airshow: “Free Flow”. In a press release, the company explained that Free Flow “allows travellers to navigate through an airport seamlessly, enhancing the flying experience and removing the need of presenting physical documents or boarding passes.” The underlying “Seamless Journey Platform” comprises the same core technologies that Vision-Box has been pitching to air travel stakeholders in recent years, with facial recognition for passenger identification being a central component.
November 16, 2023 – by Alex Perala