The Identity Theft Resource Center‘s Biometric Working Group has published a new discussion paper tackling the need for technological solutions to prevent identity crime.
A key takeaway is in the paper’s title: “Data Alone Can No Longer Be Trusted as the Sole Source of Truth About a Person’s Identity”. In recognition of this conclusion, the paper’s authors turned to experts from academia and business, as well as policy and technical experts, for guidance on practical solutions to the problem of identity assurance and identity crime.
Other key findings revolve around the application of face biometrics technology, which the Biometric Working Group characterizes as playing a useful role in a comprehensive identity verification process. That having been said, organizations are urged to follow best practices with respect to the use of biometrics, including setting limits to how long data is stored, ensuring that sensitive data is encrypted, and establishing clear consent regarding the collection of biometric data and how it is used.
The ITRC’s Biometrics Working Group also flags the need to distinguish between “facial verification” and “facial recognition”. The latter might be involved in the former, but facial verification is fundamentally about confirming an end user’s identity—for example, by matching them against a driver’s license photo. Typically, these transactions involve explicit consent on the part of the end user, and represent a means of smoothing out a transaction, to the benefit of all parties.
Facial recognition, on the other hand, encompasses activities such as surveillance and investigations using facial recognition technology. This is a distinct category of application for facial recognition technology, and in many cases is done without the subject’s knowledge—such as in the case of a police agency using facial recognition to match an individual in security camera footage to a mugshot database.
The discussion paper’s publication offers the latest indication of the ITRC’s growing prominence in the identity technology discussion, after the nonprofit published its annual “Business Impact Report” on identity crime near the end of last month. Earlier this year, ITRC CEO and President Eva Velasquez participated in FindBiometrics’ Virtual Identity Summit “Around the World with Secure Identity”, a recording of which is available on demand.
November 29, 2023 – by Alex Perala