Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Worldcoin Raises $115M in Series C
Worldcoin has raised $115 million in a Series C funding round led by Blockchain Capital, with contributions from a16z crypto, Bain Capital Crypto, and Distributed Global. The news comes after reports earlier this month that the startup was honing in on a $100 million raise to help fuel a project aimed at distributing a new cryptocurrency to end users willing to verify that they are unique individuals via an iris scan. Worldcoin says its planned crypto token will not be available in certain countries, including the United States.
TSA Expands Biometrics, Digital ID Pilots
The US Transportation Security Administration is expanding its trials of biometric and digital ID technologies that are currently underway across 25 airports. Speaking to Homeland Security Today, a TSA spokesperson said that “early results are promising enough with a small sample, that TSA is essentially expanding the sample size from 115 deployed lanes to about 200 deployed lanes,” adding later that in the current “very early stages” of the trials, the TSA is processing about 180-200 passengers per hour.
IDEMIA Brings Mobile ID to Missouri
Missouri has become the fifth state to launch a mobile ID based on technology from IDEMIA — and the first to let end users remotely renew their driver’s license. The digital ID was developed in collaboration with the Missouri Department of Revenue, with a strong focus on security. The registration process binds the digital ID exclusively to the user’s mobile device, and requires the user to upload images of the front and back of their physical ID, as well as a selfie image. Facial recognition compares the images, thereby verifying that the user is who they claim to be. Read the full story on Mobile ID World.
Bitwarden Embraces Passkeys
Bitwarden has announced support for passkeys across its password manager platform. Users can log into Bitwarden itself with a passkey, and the company says that they can access other online accounts using “passkeys stored in Bitwarden” – something of a contradiction, given that passkeys revolve around the storage of encrypted codes on the user’s own device, which can only be unlocked with a PIN or biometric scan. Bitwarden acquired Passwordless.dev near the start of this year, a move enabling it to launch a service letting third party developers embed a biometric sign-in option into their apps.
Authenticator App Beefs Up Cloud Security
Dublin-based Protectimus has launched an upgraded version of its free authenticator app, “Protectimus Smart OTP”, which now features end-to-end encryption to secure data backed up in its cloud platform. The app also supports features such as PIN and biometric authentication.
CyberLink’s FaceMe Gets APU Boost
CyberLink has integrated its FaceMe facial recognition engine with MediaTek’s Genio 700 processor, boosting its performance through the latter’s AI Processing Unit. The companies say that it’s “APU” integration “increases performance by 6.5X” compared to CPU processing. “The strong alliance between CyberLink and MediaTek, with its Genio IoT products, will provide FaceMe users with faster, more convenient, and powerful facial recognition edge computing product,” said CyberLink CEO and Chairman Jau Huang.
PortalGuard Adds MacOS Login
BIO-key has enabled support for MacOS sign-in to enterprise Active Directory on its PortalGuard Desktop authentication platform, complementing pre-existing support for Windows-based sign-in. BIO-key added PortalGuard to its portfolio of authentication solutions through its acquisition of PistolStar in 2020. The platform has since won plenty of new business, with Ohio’s Wood County government having become the latest organization to adopt the authentication solution earlier this week.
IDEX Names Two New Biometric Cards Partners
IDEX Biometrics has partnered with SELP, a French smart cards maker with an annual production volume of over 350 million cards. The partnership will revolve around IDEX’s fingerprint-scanning technology for smart cards, and will cover not just payment cards but also solutions for digital ID and retail, the companies say. SELP’s business activities span Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Central America.
IDEX has also teamed up with Thames Technology, which has production volumes of more than 250 million cards annually, and revenues in excess of £15 million. Thames Technology was acquired by Paragon ID in late 2019. News of the partnerships comes on the heels of IDEX’s announcement of a new Middle East-based partner earlier this week.
CVS Faces BIPA Lawsuit Over Passport Photo Software
CVS Pharmacy is facing a class action lawsuit over its alleged infringement of Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The lawsuit concerns CVS’s use of a digital system provided by Kodak that is designed to ensure that consumers are meeting certain facial expression and head and eye position requirements when having their photo taken for a passport or other ID card. CVS is alleged to have failed to inform users that the software scans their face biometrics during the process.
Attorneys Dig for BIPA Dirt On BeReal
A group of attorneys affiliated with ClassAction.org are investigating the possibility that BeReal, a social media app, is secretly using software that can detect faces and facial expressions, which they believe would amount to a violation of BIPA. (The app displays messages such as “Who goes there?” when a user’s face isn’t in a photo, and “Bonus points for the smile” when a user smiles.) They are currently soliciting information from BeReal users residing in Illinois as part of their investigation, which could lead to a class action lawsuit.
May 25, 2023 – by Alex Perala