Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
NOBID Selected for EU Digital Payments Trial
The NOBID (“Nordic-Baltic eID”) consortium has been selected by European Union authorities for one of four separate digital identity pilots focused on enabling cross-border payments in line with the planned European Digital Identity Wallet. The news comes after last week’s news that Scytáles and its partner Netcompany-Intrasoft had been chosen to develop the digital ID wallet itself, and makes clear that separate vendors will be involved in establish its payments functionality. The involvement of iProov as part of NOBID, meanwhile, points to a prominent role for the selfie-based identity verification technology in which it specializes. In announcing NOBID’s selection, iProov said that the EU Commission’s Digital Programme pilot will begin in March of next year, adding, “The consortium will now go into a contracting and grant negotiation process with the EU Commission.”
NZ Privacy Commissioner to Explore Biometrics Code
New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner, Michael Webster, has announced that his office is exploring the creation of a regulatory code for biometrics, after receiving comments on a biometrics position paper published this past summer. “What happens next is a round of targeted engagement with agencies and people who are interested in this field about what might be in a code,” the Commissioner explained. “The outcome of that engagement will inform my final decision next year on whether to progress with a Code of Practice.” Webster said the consultations would begin in the new year.
US Adds Chinese Facial Recognition Vendor to Trade Blacklist
The US has included a facial recognition company on a new batch of China-based additions to a trade blacklist. While the blacklist is primarily concerned with blocking China’s access to semiconductor chip technology, the facial recognition and surveillance camera specialist Tiandy found its way onto the list due to its alleged involvement in the repression of China’s Uyghur population and commercial activities with Iran. Senator Marco Rubio had sent a letter to the White House flagging Tiandy for a potential blacklisting just a couple of weeks ago.
LAPD Adheres to Facial Recognition Guidelines, But Fails to Follow Up
After implementing guidelines for the use of facial recognition technology in criminal investigations last year, the Los Angeles Police Department has been found to be largely in compliance with those guidelines in a new report from its Inspector General’s office. But Inspect General Mark Smith told the LAPD’s civilian oversight commissioners that the Department currently has no policies in place for tracking the results of investigations that use facial recognition, and thus no way of determining how often the technology leads to false arrests, or how often arrests are made without corroborating evidence. “We believe there needs to be an accounting of when that happens because it has an impact on the person detained,” he told the commission.
NSW Trials FaceTec Onboarding for Digital ID
Selfie-based identity verification technology from FaceTec is being trialed for use in a planned digital ID system for the Australian state of New South Wales, according to an InnovationAus.com report. The government’s Department of Customer Service has embarked on the first of six planned pilots for its NSW Digital ID system, with authorities having selected the FaceTec solution via the BRYK Group IT services company after evaluating it against a number of other products in testing conducted by the Biometix assurance laboratory. BRYK Group is one of many vendors listed in FaceTec’s Global Partner Network.
DMV Should Lead Digital ID Charge, Better Identity Coalition Says
The Better Identity Coalition is calling on state governments to lead the charge in developing the foundation for a national digital ID program. The coalition, comprising 27 private sector firms including AT&T, CVS, FaceTec, IDEMIA, and Wells Fargo, has issued “A Blueprint for State Policymakers” detailing six “key initiatives“. At the top of the list is a call for state to make their Department of Motor Vehicles the central hub for digital ID solutions. It’s a strategic move for stakeholders like IDEMIA, which is already working with state govenrments in the US to develop their virtual driver’s license and ID solutions.
Zwipe Pay Partner Gets Visa Approval
KL Hi-Tech, one of India’s largest bank card makers, has received a Letter of Approval from Visa for its biometric payment card, which is built on the Zwipe Pay platform. “This LoA comes at a point in time where we are seeing strong interest from issuers in our core markets to launch biometric payment cards based on the Zwipe Pay platform,” commented KL Hi-Tech VP Kartik Shekar.
TECH5 Announces Strategic Investment in Dubai Startup
TECH5 has announced a strategic investment in Uqudo, a Dubai-based digital identity verification startup, as part of an early investment round. Uqudo will use the funds to develop and launch products tailored toward the Middle East and Africa regions in collaboration with TECH5, with the companies having previously worked together – alongside iLabs Technologies – on a COVID-19 immunity credential called OpenGate early in the pandemic. “We are delighted to have TECH5 as an investor and a partner and believe that our collaboration and joint technology offering will bring wide expertise and innovative tools for biometric onboarding, verification, and digital identity management to the market,” said Uqudo founder and CEO Mohamed Fagiri.
Partner Program Success for Veriff, BIO-key
Veriff has seen a 200 percent increase in partnership agreements since the launch of its REV (“Revenue Expansion with Veriff” Partner Program in August, the company has announced. New partners to sign on since the Program’s launch include Akia, TrueNoth, and Shockoe. “Since its launch, we’ve refined the process of becoming a Veriff partner, making it easier for companies to be a part of Veriff’s partner ecosystem and resulting in an increase of new sales opportunities and pursuits,” said Veriff Head of Global Partnerships and Alliances Manuel Solis III.
BIO-key has further extended its distribution network through a new partnership with Singapore’s Progreso Networks & Security, a provider of Identity and Access Management solutions serving the Southeast Asia region. In a statement announcing the partnership, BIO-key noted that Progreso has established “a strong foothold in the government sector, protecting critical infrastructures from cyber threats.” The news comes shortly after BIO-key’s announcement of a similar partnership with TD Synnex Public Sector.
Suprema Appoints Regional Sales Manager
Suprema has named Scott Wilson as its Regional Sales Manager for western America. Wilson comes to the company from a previously role as National Accounts Manager for EyeLock, where he served from May of 2021 to September of this year. Before that, he spent a little over four years with ADT, and previous employers include Protection1 Security Solutions and Stanley Convergent Security Solutions. Commenting on his new role, Wilson expressed confidence in being able “to educate both integrators and end users alike on the importance of a layered approach to security–from the benefits of a customized system architecture to the advantages of utilizing biometrics.”
Tokyo Startup to Bring AI Assistant to Convenience Stores
Tokyo-based AI startup Couger will deploy a tablet-based AI assistant for retail managers at Japan’s FamilyMart convenience store chain next year. Dubbed “Rachel”, the AI assistant is designed to recognize each store manager’s “personal attributes”, the company explained in a statement, and to offer information tailored to the individual store in which it’s operating. Rachel is built on Couger’s LUDENS AI system, and support speech and facial expression recognition. It will go live across about 5,000 stores by the end of 2023, Couger says.
Nigerian Airport to Complete ‘Smart Terminal’ in Q1
A forthcoming ‘smart terminal’ at the Victor Attah International Airport in Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom State will feature facial recognition and other computer vision technologies, as well as a self-check-in robot, according to a report from Vanguard. Speaking to reporters, project consultant Francis Uwah said that the project’s completion has been delayed by bureaucratic issues and problems associated with inflation, but asserted that the project should be completed in the first quarter of next year.
IDEMIA Pushes for More PreCheck Signups
IDEMIA is looking to get more travelers signed up for the TSA PreCheck expedited screening program through an initiative at Southern California’s Ontario International Airport. The company’s Enrollment Ambassadors are inviting travelers to sign up for the program, which uses biometrics to quickly verify registered travelers, without the need to make an appointment. They’re stationed right next to the Dunkin’ Donuts near Terminal 4.
December 15, 2022 – by Alex Perala