controversy

Chinese Authorities Intensify Biometric Surveillance in Xinjiang Region

Chinese Authorities Intensify Biometric Surveillance in Xinjiang Region

“News of the surveillance program comes soon after the revelation that government authorities had been collecting the biometric data of all Xinjiang residents through an ostensible health program called ‘Physicals for All’.” Chinese authorities have launched a biometric surveillance system in the Xinjian region designed to automatically alert authorities when individuals travel more than 300…

Unauthorized Aadhaar Database Access Can be Bought: Report

Unauthorized Aadhaar Database Access Can be Bought: Report

“Putting aside the question of the report’s validity, Aadhaar may at this point be too big to fail, even if it does have serious security vulnerabilities.” India’s Aadhaar is the largest government-led biometric ID program in the world, and it can be hacked for about eight bucks. That’s the allegation of one domestic newspaper, whose…

Chinese Authorities Implement Mass Collection of Biometrics in Uyghur Region

Chinese Authorities Implement Mass Collection of Biometrics in Uyghur Region

Chinese authorities are in the process of a mass collection of biometric data from the residents of a region with a high population of the Uyghur minority group, according to a new report from Human Rights Watch. While 92 percent of China’s residents are considered ethnic Hans, almost half of the residents of the Xinjiang…

Catholic Sect Refuses Biometric Registration in DRC

Catholic Sect Refuses Biometric Registration in DRC

While the United Nations and partner nations are increasingly recognizing the advantages of biometric registration for refugees, a group of displaced people in the Democratic Republic of Congo are refusing to comply with such efforts in a region on the border with Burundi. As The Citizen reports, the group, which numbers a little over 2,000,…

iPhone X Face ID Spoofed By Composite Mask

iPhone X Face ID Spoofed By Composite Mask

A team of hackers say that the iPhone X’s flagship facial recognition system can be hacked. All you need is about $150, a 3D scanner, a 3D printer, makeup, some paper, and unrestrained access to the victim’s face. Vietnam-based Bkav say they used these materials to put together a composite mask that was then used…

Senate Committee Approves Legislation to Expand Biometric Airport Screening

Senate Committee Approves Legislation to Expand Biometric Airport Screening

The Senate Commerce Committee has approved the TSA Modernization Act, a bill recently introduced to the Senate that is aimed at expanding the Transportation Security Administration’s and the Customs and Border Protection agency’s use of biometric screening at various border checkpoints in the US. The legislation arrives as the CBP has been expanding a biometric border…

Australian Government Pushes for Mass Biometric Surveillance of Citizens

Australian Government Pushes for Mass Biometric Surveillance of Citizens

“The aim is to enable police and security authorities to quickly identify almost any citizen in public using facial recognition technologies.” Australia’s political leadership is looking to incorporate all of the country’s state-issued driver license photos into a federal database for the purposes of biometric identification, specifically with respect to combating terrorism. Prime Minister Malcolm…

Government Applications Month: 3 Biometric ID Programs in Practice

Government Applications Month: 3 Biometric ID Programs in Practice

All over the world national governments are turning to biometrics for civil ID. Successful large scale implementations of biometrics-based national ID are emboldening countries – from the Philippines to France – to register their citizens for reasons as far ranging as naked payments and financial inclusion, to digital democracy and national security. This week, for…

FIDO Argues Against Allowing Screen Scraping in PSD2 Regulations

FIDO Argues Against Allowing Screen Scraping in PSD2 Regulations

As the European Commission and the European Banking Authority consider the issue of screen scraping in the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) regulations, the FIDO Alliance is arguing against the practice. Screen scraping refers to the practice of allowing third parties to access users’ bank accounts using their username and password credentials. The EBA had…

Aadhaar in Question as Indian Supreme Court Rules Privacy a Fundamental Right

Aadhaar in Question as Indian Supreme Court Rules Privacy a Fundamental Right

India’s Supreme Court has ruled that privacy is a fundamental right of Indian citizens. The decision was made unanimously by a nine-person bench of judges. The ruling could substantially impact Aadhaar, India’s national biometric ID program, but it isn’t yet clear how. In hearings ahead of the ruling, some Supreme Court judges hinted that privacy…

OPEC Development Official Becomes Latest to Decry Biometric Data Inefficiency in Nigeria

OPEC Development Official Becomes Latest to Decry Biometric Data Inefficiency in Nigeria

An IT expert with the OPEC Fund for International Development has become the latest official to decry duplication and overlap in Nigerian authorities’ collection of citizens’ biometric data, reports The Guardian. Speaking at a press conference, the official, Jacob Edo, said that Nigeria’s federal government could be losing as much as $2 billion annually due…

Hindu Nationalists Call for Aadhaar Screenings at Religious Dances

Hindu Nationalists Call for Aadhaar Screenings at Religious Dances

A Hindu organization called the Hindu Utsav Samiti is urging the Indian government to use its national biometric ID program to ensure that only Hindus are allowed into traditional religious dance ceremonies called ‘garbas’. Speaking to the Indian Express, the president of the 6,000-member HUS, Kailash Begwani, claimed that Muslim men infiltrate the events to “entice”…

Integrated Biometrics Agrees to Settle Crossmatch Lawsuit

Integrated Biometrics Agrees to Settle Crossmatch Lawsuit

“…the companies have agreed to a licensing agreement that will see Integrated Biometrics pay royalties to Crossmatch for both past and future sales.” Integrated Biometrics and Crossmatch have agreed to settle a lawsuit with a new licensing agreement. The lawsuit was brought against Integrated Biometrics in late spring, with Crossmatch arguing that all of Integrated…

ACLU Fears Mission Creep, Racial Prejudice in Biometric Airport Screening

ACLU Fears Mission Creep, Racial Prejudice in Biometric Airport Screening

The American Civil Liberties Union is laying out its objections to the US government’s increasing use of facial recognition at airports in a new blog post by policy analyst Jay Stanley. Titled “What’s Wrong With Airport Face Recognition”, the post comes in the wake of the Department of Homeland Security’s discussion last week with privacy…

FBI Moves Ahead with NGI Privacy Act Exemption

FBI Moves Ahead with NGI Privacy Act Exemption

The FBI has followed through on its plan to exempt its Next Generation Identification system from the Privacy Act. Effective August 31st, 2017, the FBI is no longer bound by the requirement to acknowledge whether it is holding an individual’s biometric records. The NGI system is widely used by law enforcement and security authorities to…

Indian Supreme Court Hints That Privacy Ruling Will Protect Aadhaar

Indian Supreme Court Hints That Privacy Ruling Will Protect Aadhaar

India’s Supreme Court is hinting that it will not rule that privacy is a fundamental and absolute right when it delivers its verdict on the matter. The case was launched by critics of Aadhaar, India’s pioneering national biometric ID program. With its capability of using fingerprint and iris biometrics to verify citizens’ identities, the program…

Berlin Trial of Biometric CCTV Surveillance Raises Questions

Berlin Trial of Biometric CCTV Surveillance Raises Questions

German officials have begun testing facial recognition technology at Berlin’s Südkreuz train station. The aim is to determine whether implementing the biometric identification technology with CCTV cameras could help to boost security, particularly with respect to preventing terrorism, by identifying suspects automatically as they pass through the station. The trial has attracted about 300 volunteers, who…

Indian Supreme Court Faces Thorny Privacy Question Over Aadhaar

Indian Supreme Court Faces Thorny Privacy Question Over Aadhaar

India’s Supreme Court has entered hearings on a case that will determine whether citizens have a fundamental right to privacy. The case was launched in response to the expansion of Aadhaar, India’s pioneering biometric national ID program. Like any other national ID, Aadhaar includes key biographic data, but it also adds fingerprint and iris biometrics,…

No Biometrics Lost in Hack Attack: Avanti Markets

No Biometrics Lost in Hack Attack: Avanti Markets

No biometric data was compromised in the recent hack attack against smart vending machine provider Avanti Markets, the company says. The company suffered the security breach over the July 4th long weekend, and was quick to inform customers that payment card information and biometric data from some Avanti Markets kiosks may have been stolen. In…

Minnesota Supreme Court May Force Police to Release Biometrics Emails

Minnesota Supreme Court May Force Police to Release Biometrics Emails

A sheriff’s office in Minnesota may be compelled to publicly disclose how it uses biometric technology, depending on the outcome of a case before the state’s Supreme Court. The suit was first filed by Tony Webster, a web developer and researcher, in 2015, and is backed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a MuckRock campaign,…

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