Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
AuthID Targets Web 3.0 After ‘Investment and Restructuring’
Fresh off of a major corporate restructuring, authID has closed a $8.2 million registered direct offering of common stock and concurrent private placement in which four directors participated, including the CEO and Chairman. In a statement, the company’s recently appointed chief executive, Rhon Daguro, said the “investment and restructuring” will enable the company “to pursue the development of identity services to the next generation Web 3.0 architecture,” adding, “We intend to bring real-world (off-chain) authentication and deliver it onto a blockchain network for smart contract consumption for use in enterprise and customer applications across multiple industry segments.”
Namibia Backs Away From Biometric SIM Registration While Mozambique Moves Forward
The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has told the country’s mobile operators that they are no longer required to collect biometric data when registering SIM card subscribers. CRAN reportedly received numerous complaints about the practice from the public, and the country’s biggest operator, MTC, had struggled to persuade some of its customers that there was “nothing illegal” about its collection of the data. Biographic information must still be submitted, or customers will see their SIMs deactivated after December 31 of this year.
Mozambique, meanwhile, is about to start registering the face and fingerprint biometrics of mobile subscribers, after the government signed a decree mandating the practice last month. It is, in part, an effort to fight crime, and is being organized by Instituto Nacional de Comunicacoes de Mocambique, or “INCM”.
Dermalog Defends Philippines Contract Efforts Amid Congressional Scrutiny
Dermalog officials have been defending the company’s track record in the Philippines and elsewhere amid controversy over its allegedly poor performance in a contract to provide the Land Transportation Office with a “License, Test, and Motor Vehicle Registration System” (or “LTMS”) featuring biometric authentication capabilities –claims that led to questioning before the country’s congress. Dermalog acknowledged that there have been delays in the implementation of the LTMS, but insisted that they were the result of factors beyond its control, including poor data center infrastructure, the impacts of the pandemic, and a delay in transitioning database assets from the client’s previous IT provider, Stradcom.
Illinois Lawmakers OK Face-scanning Drones for Emergency Situations
Illinois legislators have amended regulations meant to prohibit police surveillance through autonomous drones with new legislation dubbed the “Drones As First Responders Act”, a response to a shooting at a July 4th parade last year in which police struggled to locate the gunman. The new bill allows police to deploy drones at parades and special events, but not at protests. If they have a reasonable belief that “swift action is needed to prevent imminent harm to life or to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect or the destruction of evidence,” the new law permits them to use drones equipped with facial recognition software.
New App Uses Facial Recognition to Instantly Share Photos
Israel-based startup Pixend has launched a new app that lets users automatically send photos to other registered users who are pictured in them. The system is based on facial recognition technology, which Pixend claims has a 99 percent accuracy rate and can deliver photos just 15 seconds after they’re taken. The basic version of the app is free, but Pixend plans to launch a paid version, “Pixend Pro”, aimed at professional photographers.
ClientScan Launches Biometric Self-Exclusion Solution for Problem Gamblers
London-based ClientScan has launched a facial recognition system for problem gamblers’ self-exclusion from casinos and other gaming venues. The software can operate on a standard Windows PC, and is designed to enable venue operators to automatically detect individuals who have voluntarily added themselves to an exclusion list, so that they can be ejected from the premises. The company claims its facial recognition technology has an accuracy rate above 99 percent, and that its system was developed in consultation with Oxford University’s Visual Geometry Group of engineers.
Turkish Interior Minister Faces Complaint Over Face-scanning App
Turkey’s Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD) has filed a formal complaint against the country’s Interior Minister, Süleyman Soylu, over his use of a mobile app that appeared to enable him to obtain information about an individual just by taking his picture. The government official showed off the app on a YouTube show, using it to scan the program’s host. The ÇHD accuses Soylu of “”illegally providing or obtaining data” under Article 137/1-a of the Turkish Penal Code, and wants him arrested.
May 26, 2023 – by Alex Perala