Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Facial Recognition Embraced in Brazil and Ukraine, Abandoned in Malta, and Questioned in Canada
Facial recognition is poised to play a role in police investigations following political riots in Brazil’s capital. The riots, conducted by supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro, included attacks on Brazil’s Congress, and Federal Police are now mobilizing to track down the perpetrators in a situation reminiscent of the January 6 Capitol riots in the US and their aftermath, which also saw investigators use facial recognition to identify and detain participants.
The Maltese government has scuppered a planned ‘Safe City’ project that has been established in partnership with Huawei. The plan had been to deploy the latter’s facial recognition systems at tourist hotspots in a bid to enhance public safety; but concerns about privacy and legality, as well as potential data harvesting on the part of the Chinese tech giant, gave prompted government administrators to give up on the project.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is experimenting with the use of facial recognition technologies to further its humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, particularly with respect to locating missing persons, according to a report from UrduPoint. “We are always trying to use new technology and new developments in technology to better our humanitarian services to make it in a way that we can assist people in a more efficient manner,” explained ICRC Ukraine spokesperson Achille Despres.
Police in the northwestern Ontario city of Thunder Bay are asking for public input on their use of video analytics technologies including facial recognition. The Thunder Bay Police Service recently acquired the video analytics platform Briefcam and is testing it as “an additional investigative aid,” a spokesperson explained, adding that “ analytics will have a significant impact by dramatically reducing the amount of time required to examine huge video files for potential evidence in police investigations.”
Kidney Health Startup Raises $375M
Monogram Health, a kidney health startup, has raised $375 million in a funding round led by CVS Health, Cigna Ventures, Humana and Memorial Hermann Health System. The company uses remote patient monitoring and biometric tracking devices, along with machine-learning algorithms, to facilitate remote kidney care. Monogram Health says it will use the new funding to continue growing its care deliver models mainly through Medicare Advantage health plans.
Qiagen Acquires DNA Specialist Verogen in $150M Deal
Qiagen has acquired Verogen, a provider of DNA-based biometric human identification products. Qiagen is a Dutch holding company whose overarching business revolves around ‘Sample to Insight’ solutions that provide end users with valuable information based on DNA, RNA, and proteins. The deal is valued at $150 million, with Qiagen anticipating about $20 million in sales from the Verogen portfolio in fiscal 2023.
Smart Safe Leverages Mobile Biometrics
A new smart safe raised eyebrows at the Consumer Electronics Show through its use of biometric security. The Trova Home safe is designed to pair with a mobile app that enables the user to unlock the safe using their smartphone’s fingerprint sensor or facial recognition. The safe can also be unlocked via NFC tap using the mobile app. It’s available for preorder for $549, and is expected to start shipping January 15.
Password Manager Embraces Passkeys
NordPass has become the latest password manager platform to embrace biometric authentication, in its case by way of passkeys. The company has announced that users will be able to access their password vaults via biometric authentication on a connected mobile device. The news comes after another password manager platform, Bitwarden, announced a biometric authentication option last month.
Tax Status Deploys authID Identity Solutions
Tax Status, the provider of an eponymous digital IRS account monitoring platform, has deployed the full suite of authID’s Human Factor Authentication services. The organization is using HFA to help its clients secure sensitive tax data through the use of FIDO2 passwordless authentication, and to enhance and strengthen the onboarding process via authID’s document and identity verification technologies. “Our next-gen Verified platform, which prioritizes ethical, consent-based biometrics, provides Tax Status and their clients with a comprehensive fraud prevention solution and ‘unphishable’ authentication that is more secure than legacy MFA,” explained authID CEO Tom Thimot.
Turks Explore Blockchain-based Digital ID
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay says that his country is planning to use blockchain technology to underpin a digital ID system that will enable secure access to online government services. The system is being pursued with the aim of applying it to the country’s existing “e-Devlet” public services portal. Read the full story on Mobile ID World.
January 9, 2022 – by Alex Perala
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