Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Mastercard, X Embrace Passkeys
Mastercard has launched what it calls the “Mastercard Biometric Authentication Service“, essentially announcing its support for the passkey authentication system developed by the FIDO Alliance, W3C, and major tech companies. The service is meant to make it easy for businesses to integrate support for passkeys into their online retail systems, allowing end users to verify purchases with a face or fingerprint scan on their personal device. “The Mastercard Biometric Authentication Service is extra secure because all of your data stays on your personal device,” explained Mastercard’s Identity Products and Innovation EVP Dennis Gamiello.
The social media platform X (formerly Twitter) has announced its support for passkeys as a login option for iOS users in the US. The move characterizes the platform’s chaotic stance on identity security since it was acquired by Elon Musk last year. Prior to taking the helm, Musk signaled that he would make authentication a key priority in an effort to fight Twitter”s bots. Later, the platform eliminated support for SMS-based Two-Factor Authentication for non-paying accounts. And earlier this month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s official account was hacked, enabling the fraudulent announcement of its approval for a number of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds.
UK Biometrics Commissioner Delivers Final Annual Report
The office of the United Kingdom’s Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner has issued what is likely its final annual report, with pending legislation expected to abolish the office and subsume its work under the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office. Among other things, the report flags an increase in police requests to allow the retention of DNA and/or fingerprints of suspects who have not been convicted; a drop in requests to retain the biometrics of unconvicted people who are considered national security risks; and an uptick in the number of reported errors in handling DNA samples.
Johannesburg University Implements Face-based Onboarding
The University of Johannesburg has implemented facial recognition into its onboarding process for incoming students, citing concerns about potential identity fraud. The new identity verification (IDV) system will send a freshman student an SMS that contains instructions on how to proceed with a face scan. School administrators have not offered statistics concerning previous years’ identity fraud rates, but indicated that traditional IDV methods were not foolproof, according to the domestic outlet Independent Online.
AJ Naddell Is Aware’s New CPO
Aware, Inc. has named AJ Naddell as its new Chief Product Officer. Naddell has a range of experience spanning the tech and automotive sectors, entertainment, and higher education. He spent three years with IBM, serving in various roles related to its AI efforts. He also served as Imageware’s SVP of Product Management & Sales from 2021 to 2023, and maintained the role with TECH5 after it acquired Imageware. At Aware, he will focus on aligning the company’s product strategy with its business objectives, working closely with engineering and design teams while conducting market research and strategic planning, among other activities.
HID Teams With Olea Kiosks
HID Global has teamed up with Los Angeles-based Olea Kiosks to bring biometric authentication to the latter’s self-service kiosk solutions. The new HID-Olea Kiosk concept integrates HID’s U.ARE.U Camera Identification System, enabling facial recognition for registered users, via the Olea Hypermodular Kiosk model. The design can also be modified to incorporate support for fingerprint and barcode scanners, ID readers, and other HID offerings.
1Kosmos Launches Security Key Solution
1Kosmos has launched its own security key solution, dubbed BlockID 1Key. The device essentially acts as a biometric access control system: it is designed to connect to a shared workstation, and can register the biometrics of multiple users, eliminating the need for each user to be assigned a physical key. In announcing the solution 1Kosmos positioned it as a means of securing access to sensitive facilities where mobile devices are not permitted.
Fitbit Partners With Substance Abuse RPM Specialist
ViviHealth, a Dallas-based provider of remote monitoring solutions focused on substance abuse, has partnered with Fitbit. In a statement, the companies explained that the partnership will leverage the biometric sensors of Fitbit’s wearable devices “to help individuals establish and maintain healthy behaviors surrounding activity, sleep, nutrition and mindfulness.” The news comes after Fitbit teamed up with Quest Diagnostics earlier this month to explore how its biometric wearables could be used to improve metabolic health.
Teledyne FLIR IIS Launches Modular Camera
Teledyne FLIR IIS (formerly Point Grey Research) has announced the Dragonfly S USB3 camera, a compact and modular camera that the company positions as being ideal for integration into embedded or handheld devices. Potential application areas include biometric kiosks, 3D scanning systems, and ophthalmoscopy, among others. Teledyne FLIR IIS is offering the camera in a range of configurations, from board-level to a fully enclosed module, and the solution is available for preorder now.
January 24, 2024 – by Alex Perala