Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
China Proposes Facial Recognition Guardrails
The Cyberspace Administration of China has published draft guidelines that would govern the use of facial recognition technology in the country, and is asking for public comment. Broadly speaking, the guidelines focus on the protection of citizens’ privacy and human rights, and on public safety, emphasizing the importance of compliance with existing laws when deploying FRT. The regulations also suggest an effort on the part of the Chinese government to establish better control over how the technology is being used, outlining the need for strong data encryption, impact assessments, and supervision and inspection.
Official Report Questions Benefits of Facial Recognition in New York Schools
The New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) has published a detailed report on the use of biometrics in schools, after being commissioned to do so by the state legislature. The report concludes that “the risks of the use of FRT in an educational setting may outweigh the benefits,” but notes that risks would be lower for strictly administrative uses. The report also finds “evidence of the beneficial use of digital fingerprinting for school lunch payments”, though this may depend on the specific ways in which the technology is applied. ITS acknowledges that facial recognition technology “will continue to evolve and will need to be reevaluated at a future time.”
After Biometric Search, Detroit Police Sued for Wrongful Arrest
A woman is suing the Detroit Police Department for wrongful arrest after facial recognition technology was used to erroneously tie her to a robbery and carjacking. Porcha Woodruff was arrested in February, when she was eight months pregnant, and held for 11 hours. Police had retrieved a biometric match using facial recognition technology from South Carolina-based DataWorks Plus. They also asked the victim of the crime to identify a suspect from one of six photos. But the woman involved in the crime had not been visibly pregnant.
UK Biometrics Commissioner to Step Down
The United Kingdom’s Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Fraser Sampson, has announced his resignation. His term was coming to a close anyway: the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill is poised to subsume his office under the Investigatory Powers Commissioner and eliminate the need for a Surveillance Camera Code of Practice. Sampson had previously agreed to an extension of his term until the Bill received Royal Assent, but he made it clear that he would need to be out of the country for personal reasons in late 2023. Parliament’s schedule has since changed to delay the Bill’s passage until spring of 2024 at the earliest, and Sampson can’t wait. He’s prepared to continue serving in his role until the end of October.
New Brunswick Researchers Explore Gait Biometrics
Researchers at the University of New Brunswick are working with Stepscan Technologies to develop a gait recognition system. Based in Prince Edward Island, Stepscan has developed a pressure-sensitive electronic floor tile device that can map pressure distribution from a foot. The researchers are using this technology to develop computer vision and deep learning models that could be used to recognize individuals based on how they walk.
Dubai Taxi Corporation Plans Biometric Upgrade
The Dubai Taxi Corporation, a subsidiary of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), is looking to leverage biometric technologies as part of a sweeping digital transformation strategy. DTC intends to deploy a ‘Driver Face Recognition System’ to ensure that only an authorized driver is behind any given steering wheel, while a ‘Customer Voice Recognition System’ will be used to verify customers. Other aspects of the digital transformation plan, which is expected to unfold through 2025, include AI chatbots for customer interaction and a demand prediction system that would see taxis sent to certain neighborhoods based on real-time data.
IDScan.net Joins National Cannabis Lobby
IDScan.net’s VP of Marketing, Jillian Kossman, has joined the National Cannabis Industry Association, and will serve on the NCIA State Regulations Committee for the 2023 term. IDScan.net offers an identity and age verification platform that supports facial recognition and document scanning. Commenting on the move, Kossman asserted that IDScan.net has been providing age verification to organizations in the cannabis industry since 2015, and that it has worked with thousands or dispensaries and regulatory bodies across the country. “Joining the NCIA to bring our expertise to the national conversation is the next, logical step for our organization,” she said.
ComplyCube Enhances Document Authentication Solution
London-based ComplyCube has bolstered its Document Authentication solution with an enhanced capability to detect “screen replay attacks” in which fraudsters attempt to present identity documents through a display, such as a smartphone, as original, physical IDs. In announcing the upgrade, ComplyCube didn’t go into detail about how it works or its effectiveness compared to the previous version of its Document Checking Service, but Chief Data Scientist Harry Varatharasan noted, “For years, we’ve been researching, building, and deploying AI models to detect the presence of customers in photos and video accurately and indiscriminately.”
Aware Teams With Gambling Industry Consultant
Aware, Inc. has established a partnership agreement with SCCG Management, a consultancy focused on the casino and online gambling sector. The latter will promote Aware’s biometric solutions for Know Your Customer applications, with Aware CFO Dave Barcelo emphasizing that the agreement will allow his firm to “accelerate our reach and work with operators to incorporate biometric verification technology to strengthen platforms around the world.” Aware recently posted a Q2 update in which the company’s management predicted achieving neutral operating cashflow by the end of the year.
Feitian Integrates Elyctis ID Reading Tech
Beijing-based Feitian has integrated digital ID reading technology from France’s Elyctis into its V20 and V11 devices, which the company is pitching for use in multiple application areas including border control and banking. The V20 supports fingerprint, iris, and facial recognition, among other capabilities, while the more compact V11 is equipped with a fingerprint sensor. In a statement, Feitian claimed that the integration of Elyctis’s technology means that its V20 and V11 solutions are “capable of reading all e-passports, national e-ID cards, performing OCR recognition, and much more.”
Defence Ministry Expands BIO-key Partnership
BIO-key has received a purchase order valued at about $340,000 from an existing customer that happens to be “one of the world’s most respected government defense ministries”, the company has announced. Its unnamed client has delivered about $1.7 million in revenues since their relationship began in 2018, as it has expanded its use of BIO-key’s identity and access management technology to secure IT access. BIO-key says the client has integrated its biometric authentication solutions into its “virtual desktop (VDI) capabilities”. Its most recent order will extend the reach of BIO-key’s tech to about 22,000 end users.
BenjiLock Embraces FPC Biometrics
Fingerprint Cards has established a global partnership with biometric lock specialist BenjiLock, which will integrate the former’s biometric sensor and software into designs for physical access security solutions, including TSA-approved locks and equipment cases. “We are thrilled to enter this exclusive partnership with Fingerprints,” said BenjiLock CEO Robbie Cabral, adding, “this collaboration is a testament to our dedication to offering cutting-edge security solutions that redefine the industry.” The news comes after BenjiLock’s announcement of a partnership revolving around the Japanese digital pop star character IA in June.
VSBLTY Announces Mexico FRT Deployment
VSBLTY’s facial recognition technology is now being used for enterprise access control by a client in Mexico. The Philadelphia-based company has not disclosed the client’s name, but explained that it’s using VSBLTY’s ‘Vector’ solution through a network of 40 CCTV cameras to secure its headquarters, a two-story building used by several hundred employees. “We anticipate the success of our advanced security system in Mexico will lead to many other installations worldwide,” said co-founder and CEO Jay Hutton.
August 8, 2023 – by Alex Perala