Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
LastPass is reporting a security breach to its customers, but the company says that its password manager tool has not been compromised. LastPass says that about two weeks ago an unauthorized party gained access to parts its development environment “through a single compromised developer account”. The intruder “took portions of source code and some proprietary LastPass technical information,” but did not obtain access to any users’ password vaults, nor could the intruder have discovered any user’s Master Password: “We never store or have knowledge of your Master Password,” the company said in a blog post. “We utilize an industry standard Zero Knowledge architecture that ensures LastPass can never know or gain access to our customers’ Master Password.”
The UK’s Government Digital Service is now actively trialing a new online login system that will ultimately be made available across the government. A web browser-based version of the new One Login system is being tested by the Disclosure and Barring Service in a limited beta program. A mobile app version of One Login, meanwhile, is being tested by HM Revenue and Customs tax agency, and enables login through a driver’s license scan. A senior director of the One Login project says that the GDS plans to extend support for the scanning of passports and biometric residence permits.
Taiwan-based Vivotek has provided 17 face and temperature scanning terminals to the Caribbean island of Nevis as a diplomatic gift. Nevis is the smaller island comprising the nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Michael Lin, the Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Saint Kitts and Nevis, explained that the terminals could be “set up in different establishments in Nevis” to “provide an extra layer of protection from COVID transmission.”
South Africa’s Home Affairs minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, has unveiled plans to strengthen the security of the country’s passport system, including a biometric registration process. When picking up a passport, a successful applicant will have to undergo a fingerprint scan, and it must match against data collected in the country’s national identity database. The measure is intended to fight what Minister Motsoaledi characterized as a high rate of passport fraud.
AIS, one of Thailand’s largest GSM mobile network operators, is now offering digital identity verification services as an Identity Provider Agent. The MNO says that it has partnered with more than 20 financial services providers in the country, and that its digital identity verification services will speed up the processing of financial transactions.
VSBLTY has reported a dramatic increase in revenues for the first half of 2022. The company is known for its computer vision technology, which offers retail and smart signage applications, as well as security applications with respect to facial recognition and weapon detection. Revenues for H1 came in at $4.5 million, compared to revenues of about $423,000 in the first half of 2021. Its operating loss, meanwhile, went from a loss of $6.9 million before non-cash charges of $3.7 million in H1 of 2021 to an operating loss of $4.9 million including non-cash charges of $1.3 million in the first half of this year.
Chevron is trialing the use of biometric skin patches to measure the signs of heat stress on its offshore workers. The patches are designed to measure multiple factors including sweat and electrolyte loss, and to transmit that data to a paired smartphone. The occupational hygienist overseeing the project told Offshore magazine that it’s “the largest field-based heat stress study ever done in the world.” The oil company could therefore become both a major contributor to climate change and a pioneer in the study of its health effects.
DeepMind, Google’s moonshot AI subsidiary, has worked with the conservation group Zindi to develop a facial recognition system for turtles, dubbed “Turtle Recall”. A developer challenge tasked participants with applying machine learning technology to the recognition of turtles for a system that could ultimately replace the physical tags that are traditionally used to track turtles in the wild, which can be lost or degraded in the environmental conditions of the ocean. DeepMind reports that the Zindi team says the systems are accurate enough to be “immediately useful” for identifying turtles in the wild.
August 26, 2022 – by Alex Perala