Faced with biometrics being rolled out for everything from supermarket payments to World Cup security


Facial biometrics deployments covering identity verification, small-n searches and large-scale forensic investigations, and even live facial recognition dominate the week’s most read articles on Biometric update. Idemia software and hardware will be used in a Chilean law enforcement system that includes face, fingerprint and palm, and the FIFA World Cup uses several live facial recognition providers, including none have been publicly named. We have a few guesses on this. SmilePay’s retail payment system has been rolled out to two supermarket chains, and the CEO of Facewatch says critics are confused about how the company’s facial recognition systems work.

Meanwhile, in other headlines, Ethiopia wants more vendors to follow Tech5’s leading commitment with its national ID system, and Qui Identity, .bit and Unstoppable Domains were another set of big budget digital id startup capitalizations.

Top biometric news of the week

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

Ethiopia is poised to invest in hardware and software to advance its MOSIP-based digital ID and help it reach 10 million issuances in the 2022/2023 fiscal year, which ends early July. The NIDP thanked Tech5 for their work on the project and invited more vendors to participate in future bids.

Progress is welcome, as David Birch writes for Forbes about the constant breakdown 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-prove implementations of verifiable credentials.

A government official in the Philippines has suggested that digital IDs be rolled out to complement the physical PhilID card, presumably meaning like credentials stored on a mobile device, as they could speed up issuance. Meanwhile, neighboring Vietnam has reached the stage of issuing its national digital citizenship document.

The UN expects to be about a third of the way to its universal goal of legal identification by 2025, Niall McCann said during an appearance on the ID16.9 podcast shortly before leaving UNDP . The discussion also covers the challenges of counting the “invisible billion” and the importance of birth and death registration.

Decentralized digital ID, with all of its potential privacy benefits, is one of the major promises of Web3. A $6.5m seed funding round for Qui Identity, .bit raising $13m and Unstoppable Domains raising $65m, both Series A, demonstrate continued investor confidence in the nascent market, even amid reports of recession.

The future of high-stakes facial recognition deployments may involve dedicated capture devices, not simply software running on single-frame or video high-definition cameras, Arun Vemury said during an appearance on the “Technologically Speaking” podcast. from DHS S&T. The Director of the Center for Biometrics and Identity Technology discussed the role of biometrics, advances and limitations of facial modality and mobile driving licenses.

SmilePay’s facial recognition is being deployed for payments by two supermarkets in its home country of Azerbaijan. Partner Mastercard also recently scooped up an undisclosed investment from a local bank and is looking to bring its biometric retail payment technology to various verticals 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 spot terrorists and other threats. The provider of the algorithm is not known, but a source tells Biometric update it is a multi-vendor system. Fan access card registration also appears to involve biometric identity verification.

Chilean federal law enforcement is deploying an ABIS from Idemia to match fingerprints, palm and facial biometrics of known criminals, irregular migrants and deceased persons, as the country grapples with organized crime. The capture devices featured in the announcement are also from Idemia, and the new system is expected to be operational by the end of the year, priced at $5.6 million.

BioCatch’s Director of North America Fraud Strategy Raj Dasgupta Reveals Behavioral Anomalies That May Reveal Fraud Attempts in Interview with Biometric update, and including those detected with its age analysis capability. It discusses regulation as a driver for the adoption of behavioral biometrics and covers several types of attacks.

Facewatch CEO Nick Fisher says Biometric update that contrary to Big Brother Watch’s claims, UK shoppers’ data is not stored for two years when they visit one of the retailers that uses its facial recognition system. Stores also can’t share data with each other, says Fisher, and the solution complies with data minimization and proportionality.

Watch out for this Elon Musk Deepfake go around. Biometric update confirmed that the contractor’s claimed video revealing plans to build a space car is in fact not genuine.

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

Article topics

biometrics | digital identity | facial recognition | identification for development (ID4D) | identity verification | investment | law enforcement | national identity card | payments | video surveillance

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