Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
US Government Tells TikTok Owner to Sell, or Face Ban
The Biden administration has given TikTok an ultimatum, asserting that if its Beijing-based parent company, ByteDance, does not sell its stake in the firm, TikTok’s eponymous social media app could be completely banned in the US. The move comes after months of escalating concern about TikTok’s collection of user data, including biometrics, and its potential use as a surveillance and propaganda tool by the Chinese government.
IDEMIA Joins Transatlantic Digital Travel Credential Pilot
IDEMIA has been selected to provide the digital identity and biometric technology in a “Digital Travel Credential” (DTC) being piloted by the European Commission, the governments of Canada and the Netherlands, and other stakeholders. The project will enable participating travelers to use a mobile app to create a digital travel token based on a contactless scan of their passport’s embedded chip. The app will ask the user to upload a selfie photo, with facial recognition comparing it to the passport data. From there, they will be able to take advantage of expedited, biometric border screening and boarding at the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam.
UN Refugee Agency Begins Biometric Registration Project in Somalia
The United Nations’ refugee agency has begun a pilot of a biometric enrolment system for internally displaced persons in Somalia amid conflict between the country’s domestic security forces and the Al-Shabab armed group. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is working in partnership with the World Food Programme to enrol individuals in its proGres v4 digital identity software system, as well as its Biometric Identity Management System, with the initial pilot seeking to register about 2,500 individuals in the town of Beletweyne.
Amazon Faces Lawsuit Under NYC Biometrics Law
Amazon is once again facing a lawsuit concerning biometric data privacy, this time under a New York City regulation. The company’s Amazon Go stores use computer vision technology to track customers and the items they pick up as they shop; and some customers use their Amazon One palmprint scanners to make cashless and cardless payments, as their accounts are connected to their palm biometrics. The proposed class action lawsuit alleges that Amazon failed to provide written disclosures about its stores’ collection and use of biometric data, as required under NYC’s 2021 Biometric Identifier Information Law.
Small-in-stature Robot to Get CyberLink Facial Recognition
A new, three-way partnership will see CyberLink’s FaceMe facial recognition technology integrated into a robot designed for the family home. The LOVOT robot is being pioneered by Groove X, a robotics company founded in 2015. Japan-based Macnica, meanwhile, is providing further technical assistance; the company specializes in semiconductors and IT solutions. The LOVOT robot is short, so CyberLink worked with its partners to tailor its facial recognition technology to recognize individuals from an angle; the company says it can do so in 0.2 second and with an accuracy rate of 99.7 percent.
Cerence Upgrades Voice Recognition Engine
Cerence has announced an upgraded voice biometrics engine for its in-car voice interaction platform. Dubbed “Cerence Voice Biometrics”, it offers more accurate driver identification, enabling Cerence’s voice assistant to determine who is speaking and interact with them more effectively. Cerence’s renewed focus on biometrics is something of a return to its roots: The company spun off from voice biometrics specialist Nuance in late 2019, and has since shown a strong focus on enhancing the capabilities of its voice interaction assistant.
Ad Company’s Digital Mural Solution Has Biometric Potential
Inwindow Outdoor, a two-decade-old outdoor advertising company, has announced a new marketing solution designed to add digital elements to storefront murals. While the company hasn’t yet widely launched the “Inwindow Paint” solution, in a statement, it noted that it supports the integration of digital engagement technology including “LED’s, seamless projection, AR, camera feeds, photo capture, facial recognition, facial morphing, motion tracking, and gesture technology.” Its first murals will go up in San Diego and Miami, thanks to a collaboration with Bacardi and OMG.
Maker Builds Cheap Facial Recognition Device With Useful Sensors Module
A DIY maker operating under the pseudonymous moniker “CLClab306” is putting Useful Sensors’ new, low-cost facial recognition modules to use—and demonstrating their disruptive potential. Explaining in a blog post that facial recognition systems have thus far been too costly and complex for everyday makers, CLClab306 detailed how they built a compact facial recognition device at a cost of less than $10 using the Person Sensor module and an RP2040-powered Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller. Useful Sensors has been showcasing its technology at this week’s Embedded World conference in Germany.
March 16, 2023 – by Alex Perala