Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
A group of four House Democrats has introduced legislation aimed at regulating the use of facial recognition by law enforcement agencies. The proposed “Facial Recognition Act” would require police to get a warrant before using the technology, and to audit their use of facial recognition systems annually. It would also prevent police from using the technology to monitor protests or to enforce immigration law. One of the bill’s authors, Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), had been incorrectly matched to a criminal mugshot when the ACLU tested Amazon’s Rekognition system on members of Congress in 2018.
Canada’s federal police agency has revealed its use of facial recognition tools based on Amazon’s Rekognition system through documents submitted to Parliament. While the Royal Canadian Mounted Police says that it has paused its use of facial recognition technology while it undertakes an internal review, it disclosed that it had previously established contracts to use Traffic Jam and Spotlight, tools designed to fight human trafficking and the sexual abuse of children, and has been using them since 2016.
The Philippines’ Land Transportation Office is currently in the process of developing a facial recognition system to confirm the identities of individuals renewing driver’s licenses or taking driver’s license exams online, according to congressional testimony from LTO chief Teofilo Guadiz III. Guadiz speculated that identity fraud on the online portal is rampant, adding that his “inclination is just to totally abolish this portal.”
Plurilock has appointed former Booz Allen Hamilton EVP Patrick Gorman as the latest member of its advisory board. Gorman had helped to lead Booz Allen Hamilton’s 5G and cybersecurity efforts, including a role as the head of its “Dark Labs” cyber warfare group. He has also served as Chief Security Officer for Bridgewater Associates and as SVP and Chief Information Security Officer for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, among other roles. At Plurilock, he will provide “expert guidance in growing our operations within both the public and private sector,” explained Plurilock CEO Ian L. Paterson.
Computer Vision specialist VSBLTY is looking to expand its board of directors, announcing three proposed additions ahead of its annual shareholder meeting scheduled for Halloween. The newly nominated directors are Luiz Felipe Barros, Anheuser-Busch’s SVP of Data & Analytics, Digital Transformation & Global Media; Joe Jensen, the former VP of Intel’s Internet of Things (IoT) Group and General Manager of the Retail, Banking, Hospitality and Education Group; and Alnesh Mohan, a partner at Quantum Advisory Partners LLP. Jensen and Mohan already sit on VSBLTY’s Advisory Board, with the latter having been the company’s Director from December of 2018 to March of this year.
Product Launches and Upgrades
Eufy Security has launched what it’s calling “the world’s smartest” home security system. Its Edge Security System comprises two 4K resolution cameras and a data hub processing device that features “BionicMind”, a machine-learning system that is designed to recognize faces, body shapes, behaviors, and various objects with increasing accuracy over time. Its facial recognition capabilities enable users to automatically classify video footage based on the presence of friends, family members, and other visitors; and it can send out mobile alerts when unknown intruders are spotted.
Canadian real estate company Rent Panda has launched a new tenant screening solution that features facial recognition capabilities care of Verifast. Dubbed Rent Panda Smart Screening, the solution uses Verifast’s technology to retrieve an applicant’s financial data and to verify the individual’s identity using facial recognition, which matches the applicant’s face to their government-issued ID.
Innovatrics’s facial recognition tool for video surveillance can now be accessed through its ABIS web application, the company has announced. The development comes after a major SmartFace upgrade near the start of this year that allowed the biometric surveillance platform to be scaled across a camera network of virtually any size. And the latest update also brings an enhanced user interface, allowing administrators to more easily add tags and parameters to video files. Read our full story.
Drip Capital, the provider of a digital trade financing platform aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, will use Onfido’s selfie-based identity verification technology to streamline the onboarding process for new customers. In a statement, Drip Capital co-founder and CEO Pushkar Mukewar enthused that “AI-driven document verification and facial biometrics can greatly help sellers and buyers minimize the risk of miscommunication and fraud, thus resolving a major source of friction.”
Through a seemingly accidental leak, Google appears to have confirmed that its next flagship smartphone will feature a biometric authentication system based on facial recognition. Google has thus far been tight-lipped about the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro smartphones ahead of their scheduled October 6 launch date. But details about the devices were briefly posted on the Google Play Console, a dashboard tool used by developers of apps and games available through the Google Play store. Read the full story on Mobile ID World.
Business vs. Human Rights?
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has published a new report in which it finds that surveillance technology companies are “deeply implicated” in human rights abuses related to cross-border migration across the Middle East and North Africa. The organization had invited 24 companies to participate in a survey for its report, receiving responses from only five: Airbus, G4S, Cellebrite, IrisGuard, and Thales. Of those, all except Cellebrite said that they undertake human rights impact assessments. The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre proceeded with assessments of all 24 companies for its report, including non-respondents such as Cisco and Sony.
September 30, 2022 – by Alex Perala
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