Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
PNG-Australia Pact Includes Biometric Airport Upgrades
Papua New Guinea and Australia have signed an extensive security agreement that will entail enhancing biometric security at airports, according to PNG Minister of State Justin Tkatchenko. Other key provisions include a commitment to hire Australians in PNG’s national police force, and helping farmers to meet agricultural biosecurity rules. The deal is seen by many in the context of escalating tensions between Australia and China. “This shows our commitment to Australia as one of our traditional security partners now and into the future,” said Tkatchenko.
Russian Government Proposes Harsh Penalties for Data ‘Misuse’
The Russian government has proposed legislation in the State Duma legislative body that would intensify punishments for the mishandling and misuse of personal data, including a sentence of up to five years in prison for the unlawful collection or use of “special categories” of data such as biometrics. The proposed legislation would also criminalize the exploitation of personal data for the purpose of “self-interest”. The independent news outlet Agenstvo observes that this may be meant to target investigative journalists, who sometimes rely on the use of sensitive data for their work.
Korean Researchers Integrate Biometrics Into VR Training
A team of researchers at Korea’s Incheon National University have developed a learning assessment process in which biometrics play a key role. The researchers were concerned with practical, occupational training that uses VR headsets, and focused their studies on construction safety training. They analyzed participants’ physiological responses to training via eye tracking and electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors, and found that when these metrics could be used to better evaluate how effectively trainees were learning.
Insurance Group Discloses Data Breach
Pan-American Life Insurance Group (PALIG) has disclosed a data breach involving Progress Software’s MOVEit Transfer software. An unauthorized party managed to take files including sensitive information like social security numbers, driver’s license information, and biometric data. PALIG has not indicated when the cyberattack happened, but said that its investigation concluded on October 5.
New Appointments for SITA, BioCatch
SITA has announced two recent executive appointments. Stefan Schaffner is the company’s new SVP of SITA at Airports, coming to the company from a previous role as CEO of Touchless Biometric Systems, a Swiss provider of biometric access control and time and attendance tracking solutions. Sergiy Nevstruyev, meanwhile, is the new SVP of SITA Global Services. Nevstruyev previously spent over two decades with Accenture, where he started as a Senior Manager in 2002 and eventually became Travel Technology Lead and Managing Director of Accenture Global Travel Practice. He will oversee the daily management of SITA’s critical infrastructure.
BioCatch has appointed two new members to its board of directors. Sallie Krawcheck is the co-founder and CEO of Ellevest, a women-focused investment technology and wealth management company, and the author of “Own It: The Power of Women at Work”. Liat Nadai Arad, meanwhile, is the Chief Transformation Officer at the Tel Aviv Medical Center, and a highly decorated officer of the Israeli Defense Forces, of which she led the Cyber Department as a Colonel from 2010 to 2012. “Sally and Liat each bring incredible entrepreneurial energy, operational perspective, and growth experience that will invigorate our board room with insights, ideas, and opportunities,” said BioCatch CEO Gadi Mazor.
ROC.ai Expands Into Iris Biometrics, Upgrades School Security
Rank One Computing (“ROC.ai”) has once again expanded its arsenal of biometric technologies, this time branching into iris recognition. Primarily known for its facial recognition technology, the company says it began working on the new modality less than six months ago, and that it has developed an incredibly fast and accurate iris solution that’s already secured a high rank in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s IREX evaluation program. The development comes after ROC.ai revealed it has created a fingerprint recognition algorithm at the end of last year.
The company is also preparing an upgrade to its facial recognition system deployed in schools in West Virginia’s Marion County. The security system will be enhanced to notify administrators if a registered sex offender is detected on school property. The Marion County Board of Education made its decision to deploy ROC tech in September of last year; and the biometric technology is currently used for access control, allowing registered individuals to pass through school entrances hassle-free while others are flagged for a manual security check. The upgrade is being provided at no extra cost to the school system.
Precise Biometrics Gets Another YOUNIQ Reseller
SystemHouse Solutions, an access control and security systems company based in Sweden, has agreed to act as a reseller of Precise Biometrics’ YOUNIQ Access system, which is based on facial recognition. SystemHouse will offer customers YOUNIQ Access as an add-on to Integra, its flagship access control and burglar alarm system. SystemHouse CEO Stefan Aimer said his firm had been looking to integrate biometrics into its platform for some time, and that evaluations of YOUNIQ delivered “very positive results”. Precise Biometrics also recently established another reseller agreement with Flowscape Technology.
IDEX Teams With Toppan Gravity
IDEX Biometrics has teamed up with Toppan Gravity, a Dubai-based subsidiary of Japan’s Toppan Group, to bring biometric cards to the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America markets. Based on the IDEX Pay platform, the cards are anticipated to reach the market “by the first quarter of 2024,” according to IDEX’s announcement. Another Toppan subsidiary, Toppan Forms Card Technologies, had partnered with Zwipe on biometric payment cards in early 2020. Zwipe, meanwhile, has worked with IDEX to develop biometric cards, combining the latter’s fingerprint sensor with its own payment card platform.
Stytch Launches Passkey Developer Kit
San Francisco-based Stytch has announced a new toolkit that it says gives developers “the easiest way to build, customize and maintain passkey-based authentication in their applications.” It encompasses front-end and mobile SDKs with ready-made user interface components, as well as an API that includes “smart defaults” for passkey setup based on things like what kind of authenticator is being used. Stytch co-founder and CEO Reed McGinley-Stempel says his firm is “abstracting the complexities of authentication and giving developers unmatched control over user experience” with its passkey offering.
Cali Group to Open ‘Fully Autonomous Restaurant’
Cali Group is getting ready to open what it calls the world’s first fully autonomous restaurant. The “CaliExpress by Flippy” burger joint will feature Miso Robotics’ “Flippy” robot chef, and will allow customers to pay using PopID’s biometric payments system. Cali Group had earlier experimented with both technologies at its CaliBurger restaurants in 2020, partly as an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The CaliExpress by Flippy restaurant will be located in Pasadena, California, on the northwest corner of Green Street and Madison Avenue at 561 E. Green St. It will open this month by reservation only, with a “gran opening to follow,” Cali Group says.
December 5, 2023 – by Alex Perala