Confront the biometrics used for everything from supermarket payments to World Cup security

Facial biometrics operations, which include identity verification, small-scale searches and large-scale forensic investigations, and even live facial recognition dominate the week’s most read articles Biometric update. Idemia software and hardware are used in a Chilean face, fingerprint and palm law enforcement system, and the FIFA World Cup has signed several live facial recognition providers, none of which have been publicly named. We have a few guesses on this. SmilePay’s bulk payment system has been deployed at two supermarket chains, and Facewatch’s CEO says critics are puzzled by how the company’s facial recognition systems work.

Meanwhile, in other headlines, Ethiopia wants more providers to follow Tech5’s leading commitment with its national ID scheme, and Qui Identity, .bit and Unstoppable Domains formed another series of big-money seed capitalizations for early-stage digital IDs.

Top biometrics news of the week

An update to Canada’s digital transformation strategy has been released, including a plan to conduct public consultations on digital identity. A framework and federal program to use public services with digital ID are also part of the Treasury Board’s plan, as is integration with provincial platforms.

Ethiopia is on the verge of investing in hardware and software to further develop its MOSIP-based digital ID and help it reach 10 million issuances in fiscal year 2022/2023, which ends in early July. NIDP thanked Tech5 for its work on the project and invited other vendors to bid on future tenders.

The advances are welcome, as David Birch writes for Forbes about the ongoing collapse of identity infrastructure and the real costs in money and more that it imposes on individuals and society. The solution to many problems, he suggests, lies in tap-to-proof implementations of verified credentials.

A government official in the Philippines has suggested that digital IDs should be introduced to complement the physical PhilID card, presumably as credentials stored on a mobile device, as they could speed up issuance. Meanwhile, nearby Vietnam has reached the issuance phase for its national digital citizenship document.

The United Nations expects to be about a third of the way towards its universal legal ID goal by 2025, Niall McCann said during an appearance on the ID16.9 podcast shortly before his departure from UNDP. The discussion also addresses the challenges of counting the “invisible billion” and the importance of both birth and death registration.

A decentralized digital ID, with all its potential privacy benefits, is one of Web3’s core promises. A $6.5 million seed funding round for Qui Identity, $13 million for .bit and $65 million for Unstoppable Domains, both in Series A, demonstrates continued investor confidence in the emerging market, even amid recession reports.

The future of high-stakes facial recognition deployments could involve dedicated capture devices, not just software running on high-resolution still or video cameras, Arun Vemury said during an appearance on DHS S&T’s Technologically Speaking podcast. The director of the Biometrics and Identity Technology Center discussed the role of biometrics, the advances and limitations of facial recognition and mobile driver licenses.

SmilePay’s facial recognition is used for payments by two supermarkets in its home country of Azerbaijan. The Mastercard partner also recently received an undisclosed investment from a local bank and intends to roll out its biometric retail payment technology to various industries as a SaaS or PaaS offering.

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be monitored by 15,000 cameras integrated with live facial recognition to detect terrorists and other threats. The algorithm provider is not known, but a source says so Biometric update it is a multi-vendor system. Registration for the fan access card also appears to be linked to a biometric identity check.

Chilean law enforcement agencies are using an Idemia ABIS to match the fingerprint, palm and face biometrics of known criminals, irregular migrants and deceased persons as the country struggles with organized crime. The capture devices pictured in the announcement are also from Idemia, and the new system is expected to be up and running by the end of the year at a cost of $5.6 million.

BioCatch Director of Fraud Strategy for North America Raj Dasgupta reveals behavioral anomalies that fraud attempts can reveal in an interview with Biometric update, and including those detected using its age analysis feature. He discusses regulation as a driving force behind the adoption of behavioral biometrics and covers different types of attacks.

Nick Fisher, CEO of Facewatch, tells Biometric update that contrary to Big Brother Watch’s claims, UK shoppers’ data will not be retained for two years when they visit any of the retailers using its facial recognition system. Businesses also can’t share data with each other, says Fisher, and the solution conforms to data minimization and proportionality.

Watch out for this deepfake of Elon Musk doing the rounds. Biometric update has confirmed that the entrepreneur’s alleged video revealing plans to build a space car is in fact not authentic.

Please let us know of any podcasts, interviews or other content that we should share with people in biometrics and the broader digital identity community in the comments below or via social media.

Article Topics

Biometrics | digital identity | Face Recognition | Identification for Development (ID4D) | Identity Verification | Investment | law enforcement | identity card | Payments | video surveillance

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