Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Senate Committee Flags VC Investment in CCP-linked Firms
American venture capital firms have invested over $130 million in Chinese companies that have been blacklisted by the federal government, including companies involved in the development of facial recognition technology used in the systematic oppression of China’s Uyghur population, according to a new report from the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). That spending was part of a much bigger picture detailed in the report, which said that $3 billion in total had been invested in tech companies that have aided the CCP and the Chinese military. About a third of that went to ByteDance, the parent company of the social media platform TikTok.
Liberia’s Biometric Registration Program Mobilizes
Liberia’s National Identification Registry (NIR) has sent out teams of representatives to register the biometrics of government employees, following a commitment from President Joseph Nyumah Boakai to “build the needed capacity to capture the comprehensive biometric data needed to feed all agencies, including the National Elections Commission.” So far, the NIR has enrolled some 700,000 citizens and residents into its National Biometric Identification System, representing about 13.5 percent of the country’s population. The effort follows a protracted procurement process for biometric voter registration technology that ultimately saw Neurotechnology announce the successful delivery of the tech in December.
Facial Recognition Helps Europol Identify Abducted Ukrainian Children
Europol, the EU’s European Police Office, says that a team of over 60 detectives from 23 countries has used digital open sources tools to track down eight Ukrainian children believed to have been abducted during the Russian invasion. Facial recognition technology played a critical role, helping the investigators to identify children who have appeared in Russian propaganda media. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Children’s Rights Commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova, already face arrest warrants from the International Criminal Court over the Russian government’s alleged program of abducting Ukrainian children and making them Russian citizens.
Indian Authorities Continue AI Camera Deployments
A thousand AI-equipped cameras have been installed around Lucknow, a major Indian city and the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh. Part of a “Safe City” initiative, the camera system supports facial recognition, and is expected to be officially inaugurated when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the city later this month. The deployment reflects a growing enthusiasm for biometric surveillance in India, with a number of face-scanning CCTV cameras having recently been deployed at strategic locations in Ayodhya, a religiously significant city for Hindus in which a controversial temple was recently opened.
Reveal Technology Acquires Defense-focused Biometrics Specialist
Reveal Technology has acquired DFL Technology, a Virginia-based biometrics company focused on military applications. Reveal is known for its hardware-agnostic analytics software platform for defense, which will now incorporate DFL Technology’s Identifi product, adding identity and biometrics capture capabilities to Reveal’s geospatial and terrain modeling systems. DFL CEO Isaac Riddle will now lead Reveal’s Identity and Biometrics Business Unit, through which he will promote Reveal solutions to “US DOD, foreign military, and other public safety customers,” the companies announced.
FPC Charts Transformation Progress in Q4 Update
Fingerprint Cards has issued its corporate update for the fourth quarter of 2023, showing some modest improvements now that the company has embarked on a corporate transformation plan first announced in its Q3 report. Revenues in Q4 were up five percent year-over-year and eight percent sequentially, and CEO Adam Philpott asserted that FPC saw “a modest gross margin improvement” over Q4 of 2022, asserting that his team “fully expect improved profitability going forward” as they shift focus from the mobile sensor market to new business areas like PC biometrics. “The negative outlook for Mobile looks set to endure, along with ongoing geopolitical risks, further reinforcing the need for this transformation plan,” Philpott said.
Google Adds SafeGuard to Android’s Biometric Authentication
Google has added a small safeguard to the biometric authentication system on its Android operating system. Now, when an app on an Android device prompts the user for a fingerprint or face scan – for example, a banking app asking the user to log in – a small icon depicting the app will be displayed, to clearly indicate to the user which app is asking for authentication. Presumably, this is meant to guard against any potential malware that might fraudulently prompt the user for authentication in order to gain access to an online account. The feature is now live in the beta preview for Android 14 QPR3.
February 9, 2024 – by Alex Perala