Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
EU Amendments Would Deem AI That Collects Biometrics ‘High-Risk’
Compromise amendments to the European Union’s proposed AI Act include a provision that would automatically classify an AI system as “high-risk” if it involves the collection of biometric data, or if it is used in decisions that affect individuals’ healthy, safety, or human rights. The proposed amendments, circulated by MEPs Brando Benifei and Dragoș Tudorache, are expected to be discussed among European Parliamentarians on Wednesday of this week.
Officials Begin Procurement for Sri Lanka’s Biometric ID Project
Government authorities overseeing Sri Lanka Unique Digital Identity Project (SL-UDI) have decided to begin the procurement process, according to a new report from The Daily FT. The project is the result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Sri Lanka and India earlier this year, and aims to establish a national ID program along the lines of India’s Aadhaar, with biometrics playing a central role. The Indo-Sri Lanka Joint Project Monitoring Committee’s (JPMC) decision means that the project’s managers are now officially pursuing a vendor or vendors to provide the needed technological solutions for the SL-UDI Project.
NY/NJ Port Authority Predicts ‘Big Role for Biometrics’
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Executive Director, Rick Cotton, signalled strong support for the expanded use of biometrics at airports in a keynote speech at City & State’s Government Modernization Summit. “The agenda is to enable people to get through security lines, get through taxi lines, get through really any pinch points in terms of the airport experience,” he said. “I think that the future will turn out to have a big role for biometrics.” Cotton highlighted Clear’s expedited traveler screening system as an example of existing technologies are already improving the customer experience.
Guyana Shuns Biometrics for Voters… and Embraces Biometrics for ID
The Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission has ruled out the possibility of requiring voters’ biometrics during elections, suggesting that it would be unconstitutional – a frustration for the opposition coalition “A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC)”, which had been campaigning for biometric voter verification as a means of fighting fraud. But the Chairman did acknowledge the biometrics could offer a legitimate means of voter verification if offered as an alternative to traditional authentication systems.
Meanwhile, Guyana’s Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, announced plans for a national biometric ID card, which is being pursued thanks in part to funding from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. In announcing the move, Jagdeo emphasized that the new ID would not replace the Voter Identification Card, but would instead be a completely different form of identification. In any case, the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) appears to have put the cart before the horse on some level, as Jagdeo indicated that a contract for the project has already been signed, even though the PPP/C won’t be presenting legislation to establish a legal basis for the ID until next year.
PAN Requirement to Further Entrench Aadhaar in Financial Services
The Indian government’s tax authority is urging citizens to link their Permanent Account Number (PAN) to their Aadhaar ID, with a deadline of April 1, 2023, fast approaching. The requirement will further cement the importance of India’s biometric national ID program in the country’s financial system; as DNA India reports, the PAN is required for a range of financial services activities including opening bank accounts, trading stocks, and buying and selling real estate.
New Addition Joins Virtual Identity Summit’s All-Star Roster
FindBiometrics’ latest Identity Summit will take place this Wednesday, and will focus on biometrics in the enterprise. The virtual event will feature speakers from a range of fields, with Yoti Chief Commercial Officer John Abbott having recently been added to a roster that will include Debbie “The Data Diva” Reynolds, Acuity Market Intelligence Principal Maxine Most, and Frost & Sullivan’s Danielle VanZandt, among others. Registration is still open, and completely free of charge.
Advanced Health Intelligence Acquires Wellteq Digital Health
Advanced Health Intelligence has acquired Wellteq Digital Health Inc. The move follows AHI’s acquisition of Vertica Health in August. In a statement, the company indicated that once the entities’ various solutions have been fully integrated, it will offer “a biometrically-driven triage solution, all accessible on and via a smartphone.”
BIO-key Teams With TD Synnex Public Sector
BIO-key has established a distribution partnership with TD Synnex Public Sector, a division of the major IT services corporation TD Synnex. TD Synnex Public Sector is focused on serving the public sector via its network of resellers and system integrators. Going forward, the partnership will see the company offer BIO-key’s Identity and Access Management solutions to its partners, potentially opening the door to further opportunities for BIO-key in the government sector.
Researchers Explore Use of Wearable Biometrics to Predict Suicidality
A new research partnership between Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and Analog Devices, Inc (ADI) is aimed at developing a smartwatch device that can use biometrics to detect signs of suicidality and depression among teens, based primarily on heart rate variability. The stakes are high, and the effort itself could be perilous. Suicide is now the second-leading cause of death, after accidents, for Americans between the age of 10 and 18. But repeated exposure to the topic of suicide may also contribute to suicidality, among numerous other factors, raising serious questions about the benefits of a suicidality-tracking wristband.
Passkeys Officially Launch on Chrome
Google has now officially launched support for passkeys on its Chrome browser. Developed in partnership with Apple, Microsoft, and the FIDO Alliance, the passkey solution is designed to generate a passcode for each of a user’s online accounts, and to lock it behind the biometric authentication system of the user’s smartphone. Google started beta testing passkeys in October. In a blog post announcing support for passkeys in Chrome’s “Stable” channel, Product Manager Ali Sarraf called passkeys “a significantly safer replacement for passwords and other phishable authentication factors.”
Attempted Murder Over a $2 Debt
Biometric tech has helped police in Palm Beach, Florida, to identify and arrest a suspect in a recent shooting. Whereas onlookers saw only a truck veering out of control and then a man stumbling out and collapsing, Vladimir Oviedo had in fact been shot. As BocaNewsNow.com reports, police used “several investigative leads, surveillance cameras, and facial recognition systems” to determine that Oviedo had been shot by a man who owed him two dollars, after an attempt to collect the debt. Oveido is expected to survive.
December 12, 2022 – by Alex Perala