Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Michigan State University Gets $12M IARPA Grant for Long-Range Biometrics Research
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has awarded a $12 million, four-year research grant to a team of Michigan State University researchers for work on its Biometric Recognition and Identification at Altitude and Range, or BRIAR, program. MSU’s team, situated within the College of Engineering, had already been looking into the use of drones for biometric recognition, developing a system called “FarSight” that combines face, body shape, and gait. They say it can identify someone from a distance of 300-400 meters. Further R&D is aimed at pushing that to 600-700 meters.
Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Touches on Biometric Passport Renewal, Clearview AI in Annual Report
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has presented its “2022-2023 Annual Report to Parliament”, which includes updates concerning its work on matters related to biometrics and facial recognition in particular. Regarding its investigation into the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s use of the controversial Clearview AI facial recognition platform, the OPC says it is “satisfied” that the national police force had implemented its recommendations and “taken positive steps towards creating a culture that embraces compliance when onboarding new technologies that collect personal information.” The OPC also says that it consulted with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on “an online passport application pilot project that would allow simple renewals for clients who already have a verifiable photo in the IRCC database that can be used with facial recognition technology.”
Student Drops BIPA Lawsuit Against Oak Point University
A student of Oak Point University has dropped her lawsuit against the school alleging that it violated Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) through its use of Respondus Monitor, a remote proctoring tool that involved face scans. The plaintiff, Brittany Harvey, had settled with the university in a separate class action lawsuit. Respondus Monitor’s technology had also been at the center of another BIPA lawsuit against DePaul University, which was dismissed by a federal court judge near the end of last year.
UAE Selects Scytl for Remote Voting Project
The United Arab Emirates will leverage selfie-based identity verification to enable online voting in elections scheduled for October of this year, and has contracted Scytl as its technology provider. The contract, bestowed by the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs, entails the development of a system that will allow Emiratis to cast their votes for members to the Federal National Council through “any device with an Internet connect,” according to Scytl. That is surely an exaggeration: Few smart TVs, for example, will be able to apply the necessary facial recognition technology. The contract will also see Scytl deploy voting technology at 24 polling stations.
Dubai Law Firm Uses Shufti Pro Tech for KYC/AML Compliance
THINC, a Dubai-based law firm, has embraced Shufti Pro’s biometric technology to help ensure compliance with KYC, KYB, and AML regulations. The firm offers comprehensive legal services to both individuals and corporate clients across a wide range of sectors. As such, it has a particularly strong need for robust due diligence, and to that end it has now deployed Shufti Pro’s selfie-based solution, which uses facial recognition to compare end users faces to those depicted on their officials IDs. The news comes after Shufti Pro’s technology was adopted by Penning, a web3 fintech startup, earlier this summer.
BioCatch Sends ‘Scout’ After Mule Accounts
BioCatch has launched BioCatch Scout, a supplement to its BioCatch Mule Account Detection solution that leverages application, network, transaction, and behavioral signals to illuminate the links between suspected mule accounts within a given bank’s network. To the end user, the links are visualized through what the company describes as a “graphical galaxy interface”. It’s the latest illustration of the behavioral biometrics specialist’s war on fraud, with BioCatch also having just announced a series of fraud-focused talks that will include Ayleen Charlotte, the subject of the Netflix documentary “The Tinder Swindler” and one of the victims of the proliferating trend of “romance scams”.
September 19, 2023 – by Alex Perala