For the first-ever ID Evolution Month at FindBiometrics, we’ve taken some in-depth looks at some of the most compelling trends and technological developments in digital identity. There has been a lot of ground to cover, and now, with April 2020 coming to a close, it’s time to take a look back on this exciting terrain.
The Rise of the Selfie
We kicked things off with an examination of one of the most prominent, mainstream trends in biometric identity – selfie-based authentication. While no one had even heard of a ‘selfie’ just a couple of decades ago, the preponderance of smartphones over the last several years has helped to make the concept ubiquitous. This, in turn, has brought about the opportunity to leverage facial recognition together with selfie photos for mobile-based biometric authentication. Now, the popularity of this authentication mechanism is skyrocketing.
Sharpening the Cutting Edge of Biometrics
Our next feature for ID Evolution Month expanded on this theme. Not all selfie authentication systems are created equal, and presentation attacks – also known as ‘spoofing’, in which a fraudster tries to trick an authentication system into a false positive – remain a serious threat to many commercial and consumer-facing systems. “Sharpening the Cutting Edge of Biometrics” outlined the spoofing issue and looked at how selfie authentication technologies have evolved to address it, from the use of three-dimensional face scanning to gesture-based prompts that add an extra security step to the authentication process.
From there, we left selfie authentication behind to take a look at some other kinds of emerging digital identity systems around the world. “New Generations” started with an overview of Aadhaar, India’s trailblazing biometric national ID program. It’s a uniquely ambitious program that, while flawed, illustrates some of the great potential that large-scale biometric identity has to offer.
From there, New Generations looked at a more likely next-step adaptation in the evolution of digital ID in Western countries: mobile driver’s licenses. Leveraging the security of the biometric authentication capabilities now widespread across various mobile devices, the mobile ID concept is aimed at letting citizens store virtual versions of official ID on their smartphones, and to use them just like any other valid ID. From there, it was just a short leap over to the vanguard of mobile identity apps digital ID based on blockchain ledgers, examples of which were explored in the last section of New Generations.
Talking ID Evolution
The final week of ID Evolution Month brought a special episode of the ID Talk podcast in which host Susan Stover spoke with Onfido Chief Product Officer Kevin Trilli. As a provider of sophisticated selfie-based authentication solutions, Onfido is at the leading edge of one branch of the ongoing ID Evolution; accordingly, Trilli brought a considerable amount of expertise to the table.
The two started with a discussion of the dramatic increase in mobile onboarding to facilitate remote onboarding during the COVID-19 pandemic, and moved on to talk about the digital identity lifecycle and what the authentication landscape will look like beyond the death of the password.
The discussion offers a fitting end to ID Evolution Month, looking back at some key trends, and forward to where the ongoing ID Evolution will take us. On that note, stay tuned to FindBiometrics as we continue to deliver the latest news, analysis, and expert commentary as digital identity continues to adapt and advance.
ID Evolution Month is made possible by our sponsor: Onfido
April 30, 2020 – by Alex Perala