Flood of national ID, border control biometrics and digital wallet projects progressing

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Millions of dollars worth of government biometrics contracts are in the headlines this week to support national digital identity programs, border control systems and cross-border transactions. Elsewhere, Thales and Digidentity look at the future of digital identity wallets, Tech5 was the week’s big multi-million dollar fundraiser, and executives from Saviynt and IdRamp each come from different perspectives on decentralized digital identity systems.

Biometric top news of the week

The EU Digital Identity Wallet Consortium was formed ahead of both pilot contracts, expected to be worth $40 million, and the launch of eIDAS 2.0 next year. Thales also published a white paper on the subject while positioning itself and a prototype of the eWallet network was demonstrated at the recent London OIX event. A Digidentity manager said in a Liminal podcast that the eIDAS update is part of a big step towards international interoperability.

Bids are now being accepted for the supply of 300 biometric enrollment kits and 15 mobile kits for Ethiopia’s national digital ID program. The Bahamas plan to launch its own digital ID system next year, while the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines announced updates to their programs.

Cameroon’s Ministry of External Relations has commissioned Ivory Coast-based Impact Palmarès R&D to build a biometric visa application system as part of the upgrade of its travel document issuance system. The company will provide equipment for document creation and training, and the exhibition is scheduled to begin on June 1st.

Government contracts for Veridos, Deloitte and Idemia were also announced.

Requirements for collecting biometrics, which are common for visa procedures, are being eased by Canada to take in refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine and reinstated in the Czech Republic for Russians and Belarusians. The British government is under fire for not easing restrictions on refugees from Ukraine or Afghanistan.

Organizations with identity-centric security models will position themselves successfully in the fight against sophisticated fraud even as best practices change, writes Ravi Erukulla, vice president of analyst relations and customer advocacy at Saviynt, who is also chair of Identity Management Day in a Biometric update guest entry. Changes currently taking place include the introduction of behavioral and physical biometrics and decentralized systems.

Mike Vesey, CEO and Founder of IdRamp, addresses the controversy surrounding the IRS’ use of facial biometrics for fraud protection in another guest post. Vesey advocates an emphasis on architecture that combines biometrics with verifiable credentials and identity orchestration for a decentralized system.

The American National Institute of Standards and Technology is expanding its Teststone Face Recognition Vendor Test to assess presentation attack detection algorithms. The new NIST FRVT PAD test is based on the ISO/IEC 30107 standard and is open to all biometrics developers. Comments on the procedure will be obtained by April 26th.

The importance of the ISO 30107 PAD standard is also highlighted by BioID in a branded article addressing several misconceptions surrounding presentation attacks and live biometric recognition. The standard is followed by national laboratory accreditation bodies, meaning the PAD compliance tests performed by more than half a dozen laboratories around the world all mean the same thing.

Tech5 has raised $10 million to fuel its expansion and advance its contactless biometrics portfolio. The company announced plans to expand its presence in both Europe and the Middle East. Online biometric security technology provider Videosign has raised $1.4 million to expand its platform, which offers facial recognition and electronic signatures.

The settlement, which Jumio signed in a previous biometric privacy lawsuit, protects customer WeWork, a federal judge has confirmed. Meta will have to defend itself in court against claims by non-users appearing in photos, while an offer by Google to dismiss claims against it over child biometrics also has to face trial in court.

Meanwhile, concerns from groups like EDRi over the European Union’s plans for Prüm’s international biometric data exchange system are being scrutinized by Wired. The article suggests that recent comments from European Data Protection Supervisor Wojciech Wiewiórowski and the European Commission’s response seem to indicate that further safeguards may be included.

Nigeria has found a compromise to avoid closing millions of people’s mobile phone accounts at the latest deadline for linking SIMs to the national digital ID by blocking outgoing calls for those not yet registered. The deadline has already been extended since December 2020 and 125 million SIMs are linked to NINs.

Please take a moment to let us know if you spot an editorial, podcast, or other content that we should share with people in biometrics and the broader digital identity community via the comments below or social media.

Article Topics

biometric data | Biometrics | border control | digital identity | digital wallet | State Purchasing | Identity Management | identity card | Presentation Attack Detection | Research and Development

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