Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
UK’s Biometric Surveillance Commissioner ‘Astonished’ by Police College’s Hikvision Cameras
The UK’s Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Fraser Sampson, is “astonished” to find that the country’s College of Police, which oversees the country’s policing standards, has 59 Hikvision cameras installed in its facilities. Hikvision cameras had been blacklisted from sensitive locations by the UK government last year, over concerns about their support for facial recognition, their potential use in spying, and Hikvision’s involvement in human rights abuses in China. Sampson called the tech “digital asbestos” and called for its removal.
Parliamentary Commission Endorses EU’s eID
Members of a European Parliament committee have endorsed the EU’s proposed digital identity document, and adopted requirements ensuring that it will be accessible to European Union residents without requiring them to use it in lieu of a physical ID. The amended framework will require EU governments to provide citizens with a digital wallet enabling them to confirm their identities online, without forcing them to obtain an eID from commercial providers.
After High-profile Shooting, ANC Calls for Biometric Policing Tools
The African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s dominant political party, is calling for the country’s law enforcement officials to embrace “4th Industrial Revolution” technologies like facial recognition in the wake a high-profile shooting that was caught on CCTV cameras. Rapper Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes and his former manager Tebello ‘Tibz’ Motsoane were shot dead on Friday evening, with the gunman having fled the scene.
Vermont Lawmakers Consider Privacy Bill
Lawmakers in Vermont have introduced a bill into the House that would establish strong data privacy protections for consumers in the state, including new rules requiring businesses to obtain consent for the collection of biometric data and preventing them from sharing it with law enforcement authorities without a court order or warrant. The bill is supported by Vermont’s Attorney General, which is currently suing the notorious facial recognition firm Clearview AI.
Real Estate Firms Reach $135k BIPA Settlement
A group of real estate management companies has reached a $135,000 settlement in a class action lawsuit filed under Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Ferndale Property Management and the associated firms Autumn Ridge Apartments and The Ferndale Realty Group used fingerprint-scanning time and attendance systems, and were alleged to have failed to follow BIPA’s requirement to obtain explicit, written consent from an individual before collecting their biometrics. Notably, their alleged misconduct seems to be about when they obtained subjects’ consent, rather than a failure to do so: a web notice about the settlement advises class members that they are eligible if they used a biometric time clock “before you signed a biometric consent form”.
Sagicor Announces Biometric Proof-of-life for Jamaican Pensioners
Sagicor Group Jamaica, a financial services company, has implemented a biometric “proof-of-life” system for pensioners based on facial recognition. Whereas pensioners previously would have to visit a justice of the peace in person to receive pension payments, Sagicor’s system allows them to confirm their identity eligibility online. The solution was developed by students and lecturers at the Sagicor Innovation Lab at Jamaica’s University of Technology.
New Partnerships for BIO-key, Zerify, and AuthID
Bravantic Group has joined BIO-key’s Channel Alliance Partner program, and will promote the company’s IAM and biometric solutions to its client networks in southern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Brazil. It could prove to be a major ally for BIO-key: Bravantic claims a client base of 2,500 organizations, and revenues of about $100 million. Over the past 26 years, Bravantic has built its presence in Portugal, Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Brazil, as well as the UK.
Zerify has established a partnership with Apex Cybersecurity Solutions, a Minority Business Enterprise that will offer Zerify’s cybersecurity solutions to “one of the nation’s largest healthcare providers,” the companies said in a statement. While their announcement did not specify which of Zerify’s solutions would be promoted, Zerify CEO Mark L. Kay suggested that they would involve the use of “a ‘Zero Trust’ architecture to keep patient data secure.” Zerify established a couple of client agreements toward the end of last year concerning its Zerify Meet solution, which uses biometric authentication to secure video conferencing calls.
Identity and access management specialist BeyondTrust has partnered with AuthID, integrating the latter’s Verified CloudConnect solution into its platform. With a base of more than 20,000 clients, BeyondTrust could prove to be an important partner for AuthID as it seeks to extend the reach of its passwordless “Human Factor Authentication” solutions, which revolve around the use of selfie-based identity verification.
February 13, 2023 – by Alex Perala
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