Biometrics vendors face misconceptions, reputational damage and barriers to transparency

With the growth and maturation of biometrics comes reassessments and growing pains, as seen in this week’s headlines on Biometric update. Oosto and FaceTec are considering evaluating facial biometrics beyond NIST, while Clearview has been fined again and Amazon’s responses invite further questions. Corsight addressed some potential benefits and challenges in a TV spot. In the area of ​​digital identification, the Bahamas is planning a national project to facilitate online interactions with the public and private sectors.

Top biometric news of the week

The Bahamas government has begun planning the implementation of its national digital ID system, which will eventually be used for public and private sector transactions. The credential will be the only source of official proof of identity, according to the plan. A government workshop to engage stakeholders kick-started the process.

Clearview has again been fined by a European data protection authority; in Greece this time. The fine is the same 20 million euros as that imposed by the Italian DPA, and as then the company notes that it does not operate in the country or have no customers there. Clearview is also ordered to delete Greek resident data.

An Amazon response to a US senator’s questions about the Ring video camera doorbell found law enforcement partnerships had increased fivefold since the end of 2019. A process for sharing data without consent was used 11 times this year. The company declined to offer the sought-after assurance that it will not implement voice biometrics, among other things.

Two of the major facial recognition vendors have pointed out the limitations of the value of the world’s most well-known benchmark for facial biometric accuracy, the NIST FRVT. Oosto argues that the practical challenges of video surveillance make it a very different animal from the types of applications that NIST tests, and FaceTec’s comments to NIST on its presentation attack detection test proposal indicate that it rests on an obsolete standard and excludes 3D technologies.

A Corsight AI profile on a BBC law enforcement TV show described three different deployments of facial recognition, and CEO Rob Watts discussed the need to balance fighting crime with rights to privacy. It also reaffirms the company’s request for 50 pixels between the ears to get a match.

When Clear signed deals to provide expedited access routes to various sports venues across the United States, the company talked about its service in terms of the platform. A recent report suggests that only 11 teams are currently using the biometric access control service, however, questioning whether this will really be the company’s second major growth area.

Including a persistent and unique identifier in the EU digital ID could make it illegal in several countries, an EDRi representative explained during a recent online workshop. The EP’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy suggested deleting the reference in the text of the framework proposal, among several changes to a key passage.

The Czech Republic has outlined its priorities for its term as EU Presidency, which includes some clues as to its digital identity plans. The European digital identity wallet, data law and AI law will all come under scrutiny, even in the midst of a crisis.

Lesotho joins the ranks of countries registering mobile phone accounts with digital ID, launching its registration campaign. Namibia, meanwhile, started recruiting mobile subscribers in June, with telecoms MTC outlining the process and benefits, saying it hopes to reach 2 million registered SIM cards.

Cameroon launches biometric vaccination cards to help people in the country travel abroad. In an interview with Biometric updatethe head of the international immunization center in Yaoundé, Dr Ntsobe Njoh Bolo Noh Yanne Emmanuel, says demand for the cards is strong and feedback on the $15 cards has been positive so far.

Congratulations to Cognitec on the company’s 20th anniversary as a leader in the development of facial biometrics. A long moment Biometric update supporter, Cognitec was acquired by the Salto Group earlier this year.

If you spot any articles, podcasts, or other content that should be shared with people in biometrics and the broader digital ID community, please let us know in the comments below or via social media.

Article topics

biometric tests | biometrics | data protection | digital identification | digital wallet | facial recognition | identity verification | surveillance

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