The stage is set for the next adoption cycle of secure access control biometrics

Investments, patent activity, pilots, and observations about the airline industry all point to a next wave of biometrics deployments. Millions of funds have been raised by Sentry Enterprises to manufacture enterprise biometric access control cards, and Anonybit has raised millions to secure sensitive data, including but not limited to biometrics. Patents from Yoti and Idemia I&S USA, aeronautical knowledge from Vision-Box and SITA, as well as participation in pilot projects for a national identification program by Tech5 also highlight emerging opportunities.

Top biometric news of the week

Sentry Enterprise’s plans to provide enterprises with physical and logical access control through its biometric SentryCards has progressed through a $13 million funding round and a strategic investment in a card-making partner. Sentry ordered six-digit volumes of Fingerprint Cards biometric sensor modules last year and, through its X-Core investment, plans to expand operations in 2022.

Anonybit has raised $3.5 million to grow the customer base for its three products, including the just-unveiled turnkey authentication solution, and co-founder and CEO Frances Zelazny says Biometric update in an interview that the potential customer base includes virtually the entire digital identity industry. A password manager client has been announced for the new product, and more announcements are promised.

Tech5 is participating in a pilot of biometrics and other technologies with Ethiopia’s MOSIP-based National ID Program, providing biometric data quality assessment, deduplication and more as details on the main fundamental digital identification system continue to emerge. Zetes has also joined MOSIP as a solution provider and technology or service partner, which are the two categories of the modular open source system’s partnership program.

Statewatch warns that the post-Brexit UK could end up using some of the widest and most data-intensive surveillance programs operating in the EU, without even a debate in Parliament. Secondary legislation is all that would be needed for the UK to join the Prüm system for cross-border searches of biometric databases, leading to accusations of plans to eliminate liability and rights protections.

Venezuela and Cuba appear to be deploying technology from Chinese vendors for internet-based social control and digital identity systems, according to a Voice of America report. These systems use biometrics and algorithms in the service of surveillance and censorship, according to the report, which focuses on ZTE’s involvement in Venezuela’s digital ID card.

Vision-Box’s Jeff Lennon says biometrics and mobile technologies enabling contactless airport processes are also letting travelers skip paperwork and bringing privacy-by-design into air travel in a guest post for Biometric update. The growing wealth of implementation experience and data from projects using ICAO DTC standards will be used to help those who have invested prepare for the restart of the industry in 2022.

Indeed, biometric boarding is expected to be used by half of airlines by 2024, and airports are expanding self-check-ins with biometrics, according to SITA’s Air Transport IT Insights 2021. Airlines are also racing to figure out how to check everyone’s digital health passes, and expect mobile apps and, to a lesser extent, kiosks to be used.

Yoti has patented a new technique to prevent identity verification injection attacks in web browsers that go beyond obfuscating biometrics and other data. CTO Paco Garcia explains how the technology works, with cryptographic keys changing before obfuscation can be reverse-engineered, for Biometric update in an interview.

A patent application from Idemia Identity and Security USA describes a method for accurately digitizing the content of identity documents, with document positioning feedback and composite images. Meanwhile, its France-based parent company has formed an R&D partnership with a national agency to work on data protection, cybersecurity and AI.

Letters to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in response to a request for biometrics information have arrived from Oosto, Clearview, NYCLU, SIIA, and ICIT, as well as of Elizabeth M. Renieris and other scholars. The letters give an overview of the societal debate, and relate in particular to facial recognition.

Facial recognition was also a focus during a U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in which candidate for head of DHS Intelligence and Analysis Kenneth Wainstein was asked about transparency in the use of technology.

A facial recognition app to automate school attendance by matching students’ faces as they enter class, developed by an Arkansas student, has won the 2021 Congressional App Challenge. Even more impressively, the victory is the second row for eighth-grade student Veera Sai Joshik Unnam.

Please let us know of any articles, videos or podcasts we should share with people in biometrics and the broader digital ID community in the comments below or via social media.

Article topics

access control | biometrics | border security | data protection | digital identity | facial biometrics | facial recognition | financing | investment | national identity card | patents

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