[Editor’s note: A previous version of the Identity News Digest included an item based on a CBS report that the Transportation Security Administration would soon introduce ID checks for all travelers, including members of CLEAR. The item has been removed as CLEAR has advised that the CBS report is inaccurate, and the TSA has clarified that the anticipated ID requirement “is not imminent” and will eventually be rolled out according to a TSA timeline.]
Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Advocacy Group Urges Bosch Blacklisting Over Surveillance Tech
The advocacy group United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI) is calling on the United States to blacklist the German engineering and tech company Bosch for its involvement in providing biometric surveillance capabilities to Iran. According to an investigative report from the German broadcaster ARD, Bosch sold 8,000 surveillance cameras to Iran between 2016 and 2018, and in 2017 organized an instruction course at Khatam University in Tehran whose topics included “facial recognition, face detection, and intelligent tracking from objects.”
UK ICO Seeks Comment On Biometric Privacy Guidelines
The United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published a draft guidance on how the UK GDPR data protection law applies to biometric technologies, emphasizing considerations such as performing impact assessments and obtaining consent. The ICO is inviting public comment until October of this year, and says that a second phase of the guidance will include a “call for evidence” in early 2024.
Professor Reappointed as Chair of Home Office’s Biometric Ethics Group
Professor Mark Watson-Gandy has been reappointed as the chair of the United Kingdom Home Office’s Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group, with his new term slated to begin September 25. Watson-Gandy has served as chair of the group since October of 2019. In his new term, he can expect to work with some fresh perspectives, as the Home Office is looking to appoint six new members to the panel. “I am looking forward to having the chance to build on this and continuing the important work of our amazing team in providing sound, expert and independent advice on ethical issues in relation to biometrics, forensics and large and complex datasets,” he said.
Will X Implement Selfie-Based Identity Verification?
X (formerly Twitter) may be preparing to implement a selfie-based identity verification system in partnership with AU10TIX, according to independent app researcher Nima Owji. Screenshots shared by the researcher appear to show an “ID verification” prompt notifying users that they will need to share a selfie and a photo of government-issued ID; it also features a checkbox asking the user to verify, “I consent to X sharing images of my ID, including biometric data, and personal data from my profile with Au10tix for the purpose of confirming my identity.”
Crypto Project Plans Facial Recognition Upgrade
A crypto project being undertaken by Singapore-based Ennova will implement facial recognition in an app designed for cross-border payments. The “Advanced Project” has developed an app called “TIER” for payments and remittances, and is aiming to implement a facial recognition system that will be used to authorize payments in the fourth quarter of this year, with a commercialization effort planned for Q2 of 2024. The project will be showcased at the Dubai AI & Web3 Campus in Dubai’s DIFC Innovation Hub later this year.
Yoti Donates to Youth-Led Nonprofit
Yoti, the digital identity and selfie biometrics specialist, has committed to donating one percent of its annual revenues to RIVET, nonprofit focused on youth-driven social change. Founded in the summer of 2022, RIVET emphasizes “striking for the planet protecting our schools, strengthening community resilience, fighting for our rights, and fixing broken systems” in its manifesto. In announcing its support, Yoti said the organizations aligns closely with the company’s values.
August 18, 2023 – by Alex Perala