Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Canary Islands Struggles With Age Verification Amid Refugee Influx
Authorities in Spain’s Canary Islands have been overwhelmed by a surge in migrants from West Africa, and have been struggling to accurately determine who is a minor and who is an adult, according to a new report. Authorities currently use biometric tests based, at least in some cases, on bone scans to determine who is a minor, but many individuals claiming to be minors say these scans incorrectly flagged them as adults, leading to their placement in refugee camps for adults. This can deprive them of extra supports given to minors, including efforts to find accommodation and educational services. There are reportedly 2,000 age tests pending as Canary Islands authorities work to process the refugees.
Singapore Showcases Frictionless Passenger Processing at Milipol Paris
A delegation of Singaporean scientists and engineers have been showcasing the country’s new “Next-Generation Clearance Concept” at this week’s Milipol Paris 2023 event. It’s a traveler processing solution that uses face and iris biometrics to scan individuals as they pass through a walkway, with no physical barrier or turnstile. The solution is the product of two years of work on the part of Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX), the technology arm of Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs. HTX’s Deputy Director for Biometrics, Melvin Low, says his team is now working to implement a gait biometrics feature into the system.
HTX Teams With IDEMIA On Security Solutions
HTX has also signed a Strategic Partnership for Innovation (SPI) agreement with IDEMIA on the sidelines of Milipol. The agreement outlines a wide-ranging research and development collaboration that will focus on safety and security solutions for Singapore. “This partnership will provide opportunities for HTX and IDEMIA’s engineers and scientists and to work together to develop cutting-edge homeland security solutions,” commented HTX CEO Chan Tsan. Matt Cole, IDEMIA’s CEO of Public Security and Identity, noted that his firm won a border control contract for Singapore earlier this year.
UNHCR Uses Biometrics to Register 35,000 Refugees in Nigeria’s Benue State
The United Nations’ refugee agency, UNHCR, has successfully verified the identities of more than 35,000 internally displaced individuals in Nigeria’s Benue State using biometrics, in collaboration with the International Organization of Migration. It’s the latest sign of the UNHCR’s enthusiasm for biometric identification, particularly with respect to populations that lack physical ID. Nigeria’s Benue State has been the site of an ongoing conflict between traditional Fulani livestock herders and Christian farmers, which has resulted in hundreds of deaths in recent years.
NEC, I3 Launch ‘Face Center of Excellence’
NEC has partnered with Ideal Innovations Inc. (I3) to launch a specialized training program dedicated to the use of its sophisticated facial recognition technology. The I3 Face Center of Excellence (FaCE) is primarily meant for forensic examiners, and will offer training services aligned with NEC Group’s AI and Human Rights principles. “We are incredibly excited to offer our NeoFace customers the opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge in the responsible use of face recognition technology through our collaboration with the I3 FI training,” said NEC Senior Product Manager John Dowden.
Kenyan County to Implement Biometric Attendance Tracking
The government of Kisii, one of Kenya’s 47 counties, will implement a biometric time and attendance system for government workers. Addressing the newly appointed members of the County Public Service Board, Kisii Governor Simba Arati emphasized the need to maintain integrity as they seek to purge ghost workers from government payrolls. “You will make enemies who will even want to kill you, just focus on your work,” he said. Authorities have already procured the biometric attendance system and it is expected to be deployed in the coming weeks.
Mantra Softech Provides Hardware for Tax Authority’s Aadhaar Effort
Mantra Softech will provide the biometric hardware to be used in the Indian province of Gujarat’s pioneering initiative to link tax collection to Aadhaar, India’s enormous biometric national ID program. Timing of the recently announced effort is uncertain. A Times of India report had said that biometric registration would begin on November 7; but a November 15 announcement from Mantra suggested that it was yet to deliver its hardware for use in the program.
Yoti’s Age Tech Comes to ‘Avakin Life’
Yoti’s age assurance technology is now being used to verify the status of players of Avakin Life, a large-scale multiplayer video game from Lockwood Publishing. Players can confirm their age by uploading an image of an identity document, which is compared against their selfie image using facial recognition technology; or they can opt for Yoti’s age estimation technology. Verifying adulthood unlocks access to “exclusive age-restricted features” of the game, according to a statement announcing the integration. Avakin Life’s Director of Player Support, Claire Panter, said Yoti’s “fast and easy” age verification technology has seen a “positive response from the community.”
Onfido Fraud Lab Engineers Synthetic Fraud at Scale
Onfido has unveiled its “Fraud Lab”, in which a team of experts including former police and border agents have been working to train anti-fraud AI models over the past six months. As Onfido explains, AI algorithms need to be trained on data from synthetic fraud attacks (such as those based on deepfakes) in order to learn how to defend against them, but the availability of such data can be limited. Onfido’s team has been dissecting and labelling the data from real attacks, and using generative AI to make synthetic derivatives, building a large-scale dataset that can effectively train AI models for optimal performance in detecting deepfakes attacks.
Aware Targets Europe, LATAM With Serban Partnership
Aware, Inc. has established a partnership with Serban Group in an effort to expand its presence in the European and Latin American markets. Serban Group is a digital transformation consultancy based in Madrid. First established in 2003, the company added a “Serban Biometrics” business arm in 2014. Juan Pablo Yagüe, the firm’s Manager of Strategic Alliances and Digital Identity, says Serban has established “a strong network of partners within LATAM and Europe”. It will promote Aware’s biometric technologies as the newest member of the latter’s partner program. The news comes after Aware posted a strong uptick in revenues in its recent report for the third quarter.
Biometrics Assurance Tester Sought for UK Lab
A recruiting company is urgently looking to hire a freelance Biometrics Assurance Tester for work in Leicester, England. The role will entail developing automated workflows, and working with technologies including SOAP-UI, JMeter, Jira, and Zephyr. Knowledge of XML and SOAP Web Services is a requirement. “Due to the nature and urgency of this post, candidates holding or who have held high level security clearance in the past are most welcome to apply,” the listing says. Compensation is estimated as between £400 and £700 per day.
November 15, 2023 – by Alex Perala