Tech5’s biometric technology is used in the next phase of Ethiopia’s national digital ID enrollment, in one of the week’s headline series about government contracts or legislation. An Australian government contract, a series of announcements from the UK and a proposed digital ID bill in the US were among the top stories of the week. On the private sector side, an interview with Smartmetric reveals that Americans may soon be able to use biometric payment cards.
Top biometric news of the week
A tender for the collection of biometric data from visa applicants has been launched in Australia for a new process to launch next March. Contracted service providers will collect biometric data from overseas applicants, verify applicants’ information and match their identities before forwarding them to the Home Office for further processing. The new application process should be more efficient in a context of increasing visa demand.
Facial recognition accuracy has improved significantly for faces obscured by masks as a direct result of the increased prioritization of algorithm training. Masks printed with contradictory patterns by a team of Israeli researchers, however, can detect the wearer’s face but do not match current deep learning models.
Ethiopia is further deploying Tech5’s biometric engine and digital ID solutions in its MOSIP-based core national ID system after a successful trial. The T5-ABIS BE will be used during the pre-launch phase for quality assessment, deduplication and enrollment, with the country targeting 10-12 million enrollees by the end of next year.
The date for an announcement on who has been chosen for a contract to produce DRC biometric passports has come and gone, with no word on the supplier. Reports suggest Semlex or a related company will retain the contract, beating several other international bidders.
Smartmetric has a plan to take over the US biometric payment card market, with battery-powered cards with built-in storage for multiple applications. CEO Chaya Hendrick tells Biometric update in an interview about the status of his product, drops clues about the sensor vendor and possible time for North American trials.
The next phase of the UK government’s trials of biometric self-enrollment systems is testing biometric sensors, document scanning and OCR technologies, and is due to end on August 5. The Home Office was not particularly impressed with the technologies proposed in the first round.
A bill has been proposed in both Houses of the UK Parliament that could shut down the office of the Biometrics Commissioner, establish a new trust framework for digital ID and digital birth certificates, and data protection mechanisms. data. The proposal would radically change data protection oversight, as the government tries to seize “the benefits of Brexit”.
The UK government has also reviewed its national AI strategy and how it differs from the EU approach. The Office of the Information Commissioner has established its own three-year plan, which emphasizes greater collaboration with businesses and the public.
The majority of people in the UK support a scheme to use digital ID cards for migrants to prevent people whose applications have been rejected from working and settling down anyway, according to a survey by the Tony Blair Institute. The Institute offers this program as one of many measures to reduce the flow of migrants to the Kingdom.
The Home Office has been accused of failing to collect the biometric data it is supposed to collect from asylum seekers, and has announced new plans to increase the collection of biometric data from immigrants and travellers.
London police put a new spin on operational trials of live facial recognition technology in July, paying some people to take part. Big Brother Watch claims that some of the people employed for the biometric performance tests were as young as 14 and the test again showed the technology to be inaccurate. For their part, police say the facial recognition and license plate trials resulted in 11 arrests, with a July 7 deployment beating four-to-four on alert.
A US proposal to establish a framework for digital identity in that country has been introduced in the House, and with a similar version later in the Senate, it has bipartisan support. Digital identifiers could be issued by each state, but according to a national standard.
Bruce Hanson of Credence ID has been returned to the United States Presidential Advisory Council on Doing business in Africa for another two years. First named in 2019, Hanson will be one of 24 experts helping to further develop economic ties between the country and the continent.
Fingerprint Cards says it has now shipped over 1.5 billion biometric sensors since 2014. This is a remarkable achievement as well as a testament to the growth of the industry.
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