Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Swedish Government to Explore New Digital ID System
The Swedish government has appointed a judge, Henrik Ardhede, to lead an inquiry into the possibility of implementing a new digital ID system in the country. Sweden currently has two online ID systems in play, BankID and Freja Plus, but they do not adhere to the highest level of security laid out in the European Union’s eIDAS Regulation, whereas the new digital ID system would aim for the highest level. Judge Ardhede will explore the costs and financing of the project in an initial report due in October of 2023, with a final report due the following May. Meanwhile, the EU recently selected Scytáles and its partner Netcompany-Intrasoft to develop a region-wide digital identity wallet, and chose the Nordic-Baltic eID consortium to participate in a cross-border payments pilot tied to the identity wallet project.
New Financing for Nivo, BIO-key
Manchester-based fintech startup Nivo Solutions has received a £1 million investment from Maven Equity Finance, with support from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and Barclays Bank. The company, which was founded by former Barclays executives and participated in the bank’s accelerator program, offers a platform that enables financial institutions and other organizations to collect digital documents through a secure messaging service, with biometric technology from Onfido leveraged for authentication.
BIO-key has secured $2.2 million in funding through the sale of a six-month 10 percent Secured Promissory Note, to AJB Capital Investments LLC. In announcing the maneuver, BIO-key explained that the funding will be used for general working capital purposes. “We are confident in BIO-key’s global outlook in 2023 and our ability to service our obligations under the Note,” added CEO Michael DePasquale. “We expect to enter the year with roughly $7M in annual recurring SaaS revenues from software contracts, a solid pipeline of customer opportunities, and hardware inventory that we look to convert to cash.”
After Cybersecurity Report, BIPA Comes for Anker
Anker Innovations is now facing a proposed class action lawsuit under Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) due to allegedly misleading consumers about privacy-impacting processes in its Eufy facial recognition cameras for home security. Last month, security researcher Paul Moore claimed that he had discovered that his Eufy Doorbell Dual camera was quietly uploading his face data to the AWS cloud, despite claims that all such data was processed locally. Now, plaintiff Trevor Sloan is arguing that such processes violate BIPA’s requirement of explicit consent for the collection of biometric data.
Teikyo University Researchers Develop Low-Cost Near-IR System
A team of researchers at Japan’s Teikyo University of Science has developed a near-infrared light sensor that operates by converting weak near-infrared light to visible light. The JST Strategic Basic Research Program PRESTO researchers use a near-infrared photodetector that combines core–shell lanthanide based-upconversion nanoparticles with an inorganic semiconductor material that responds to visible light, resulting in a novel near-infrared light sensor solution that is much less expensive than standard near-infrared sensors.
Liberia Sets Timeline for Biometric Voter Registration
Liberia’s National Elections Commission has formally announced that its Biometric Voter Registration project will begin on March 20, 2023, with Laxton Group Acting as its biometric technology partner. The project will be undertaken in two phases serving different regions of the country, and is scheduled to conclude on May 11. The voter biometrics collected in the exercise will be used for voter verification in Presidential and Legislative Elections in October of 2023.
MNOs in Pakistan Adopt New Biometric SIM Registration System
Mobile Network Operators in Pakistan are now using a ‘Multi-Finger Biometric Verification System’ (MBVS) to register new subscribers when issuing SIMs. The country has had a Biometric Verification System for SIM transactions in place since 2014, but government leaders at the National Database & Registration Authority and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority decided to require a more secure system that requires the registration of two fingers, selected at random, from a given subscriber.
New Partnerships for Innovatrics, Precise Biometrics, and More
Innovatrics has teamed up with AI-focused chip maker Hailo, with the companies integrating Innovatrics’ SmartFace Embedded facial recognition solution into the Hailo-8 chip. The companies say their joint solution can process biometric operations directly on the chip while delivering the performance of a standard server GPU, adding that it “gives users the flexibility to implement their solutions at a small footprint and low power consumption while maintaining better control over system compute capacity.”
Taiwan-based Himax and Silicon Valley startup Useful Sensors have partnered on computer vision solutions, and will showcase them at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show. The partnership revolves around the combination of Himax’s WiseEye Smart Image Sensing solution with Useful Sensors’ Person Sensor and Gesture Sensor hardware modules. The latter cost only $10 each, enabling the development of low-cost hardware products that can track faces, recognize gestures, and interface with users via speech.
Precise Biometrics has entered into a development partnership with Korea-based fingerprint sensor maker CanvasBio. The two companies will work together on a fingerprint module for laptops, based on CanvasBio sensors and Precise BioMatch algorithms. “This development partnership is a step forward in line with our stated growth strategy where we want to build new partnerships with sensor manufacturers and grow in new verticals beyond the mobile market where we already have a strong position globally,” explained Patrick Höijer, the company’s new CEO.
New IDEMIA Support Center to Help Japan Go Cashless
IDEMIA has launched a new service center in Kawasaki, Japan, that is focused on working with domestic credit card issuers. In announcing the new service center, the France-based company emphasized that it has been active in Japan since 2008, with business activities ranging from supporting MNO operations to deployments of biometric access control solutions. “IDEMIA has been honoured to support Japanese financial institutions in delivering advanced banking and payment offerings for years, and this new service centre will further expand our capacity to accelerate Japan’s transition towards a fully cashless society,” commented Japan Sales VP Nezu Nobuyoshi.
December 23, 2022 – by Alex Perala
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