Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Kyrgyzstan Uses Biometric Surveillance to Arrest Individuals on Russia’s Watch List
Authorities in Kyrgyzstan have implemented a facial recognition system and have been using it to arrest individuals named in a watch list provided by Russia. Kyrgyzstan is one of the former USSR satellite states that comprise the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and its government has indicated support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, though the country remains officially neutral. Russia’s watch list concerns some 85,000 individuals; since implementing the facial recognition system on June 2, Kyrgyzstan authorities say they have apprehended at least 57 people.
PimEyes Faces BIPA Lawsuit
PimEyes, the developer of a reverse image search tool based on facial recognition, is now facing a class action lawsuit under Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) over its collection of biometric data from images on the internet. BIPA requires companies to obtain consent from consumers before collecting their biometrics, and has additional disclosure and data retention requirements that PimEyes is alleged to have violated. Plaintiffs are demanding a jury trial for the company, which was originally created by a pair of Polish developers, and had its headquarters moved to the Seychelles.
French Senate OKs Bill for Police Biometrics Trial
The French Senate has passed a bill aimed at allowing certain government authorities to use biometric technologies in law enforcement investigations on an experimental basis for three years, ultimately leading to a government report on the technology. It establishes a legal framework for intelligence agencies to use real-time biometric technologies – presumably facial recognition for the most part – in anti-terrorism efforts, and for police investigators to use biometrics to scan images and video in cases of sensitive and serious crimes. The bill was approved in a 226-117 vote.
DHS Uses Biometrics to Unveil War Criminal
The Department of Homeland Security says it used facial and fingerprint recognition to confirm the true identity of an alleged war criminal. Sead Dukic, née Miljkovic, has been living in the United States for the past 24 years. But his assumed name obscures his past as an alleged war criminal, wanted by Interpol for activities during the Bosnian War. He’s now facing a charge for making false statement in applying for a US passport.
Spirit Airlines Claims World’s Biggest Biometric Bag Drop Deployment
Spirit Airlines has deployed 19 biometric self-bag drop units at Orlando International Airport (MCO), calling it the largest deployment of the technology in the world. The units are equipped with document and face scanning technology that can match a traveler to their photo ID, thereby verifying the traveler’s identity and eliminating the need for the traveler to hand documentation to a live agent. The airline has already deployed the technology at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Atlanta (ATL), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), and Dallas Fort Worth (DFW). At MCO, Spirit says the system will undergo “an initial testing period” in which manual ID checks will also be employed.
TECH5’s Rahul Parthe Becomes PassiveBolt Advisor
PassiveBolt, a startup focused on using decentralized identity technology for access control, has named Rahul Parthe as a strategic advisor and investor. Parthe is the co-founder, Chairman, and CTO of TECH5, a biometrics specialist that recently teamed up with PassiveBolt, as well as ZKTeco and PDQ Manufacturing, to develop a decentralized biometric access solution. In a statement announcing his new role with PassiveBolt, the startup also noted that Parthe “was the key biometric system architect of UIDAI program”, referring to the government entity behind India’s pioneering biometric national ID system, Aadhaar.
TripleBlind Launches Authentication Software for Financial Services
TripleBlind, a Kansas City-based startup, has launched a new authentication software solution called SecuriKey. Aimed at the financial services sector, it’s designed to store secret keys across multiple devices in a user’s possession, requiring more than one for authentication — rendering each individual key useless on its own. The solution also leverages the biometric authentication capabilities found on most mobile devices.
PortalGuard Update Focuses on Better Serving MSPs and MSSPs
BIO-key has updated the admin panel of its PortalGuard Identity-as-a-Service login solution, characterizing the upgrade as one that will especially benefit Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs). “We believe our updated ‘single pane of glass’ approach will support MSPs and MSSPs to take major strides in their cybersecurity – like implementing a zero-trust model or passwordless authentication within the Platform,” said the company’s VP of Engineering for PortalGuard, Gregg Browinski.
Neurotechnology Upgrades Face Verification Solution
Neurotechnology has launched a new version of its Face Verification system that can now detect whether a person enrolling their own face is wearing glasses or a hat, and can generate a warning if those accessories prevent alignment with a given application’s quality requirements. Version 13.1 also delivers an age estimation feature, and supports the use of GPU processing, which can significantly increase the number of concurrent requests that can be processed on a single server. Business Development Director Antonello Mincone says that the company has leveraged some of the same technologies used in Neurotechnology’s large-scale biometric projects in the upgraded Face Verification platform.
June 13, 2023 – by Alex Perala