Chinese government forms face recognition standards body

Government asks SenseTime to lead plans for national facial recognition standards — Caixin Global — “The working group, which also includes Tencent, Xiaomi, and Ant Financial, is overseen by the National Information Technology Standardization Technical Committee (NITS), which is in turn affiliated with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. It will also promote the further formulation of facial recognition standards at an international level.”



Brits warm to biometric verification

Just under half of British consumers are ready to completely replace traditional verification methods with biometrics for withdrawing cash (46%), starting their car (45%) and unlocking their front door (41%), according to new research from Equifax... More


Google explains the benefits of its Biometric API

One Biometric API over all Android — Google — “In addition to supporting multiple biometric authentication form factors, the API has made it much easier for developers to check whether a given device has biometric sensors… In addition, the framework has built-in support for facial authentication in Android 10 so that vendors don’t need to create a custom implementation.”



Sierra Leone puts national ID cards on the blockchain

President Dr Julius Maada Bio

The government of Sierra Leone is to introduce a blockchain-based national identity system at the end of this year, enabling citizens to “grant access to approved institutions to assert and verify identity and also build credit histories,” the country’s president has announced... More



Samsung partners with Korean banks and carriers to launch blockchain mobile ID platform

Consortium launches blockchain-based digital ID in S Korea — Yonhap News — “A group of major tech companies and financial institutions have joined hands to launch a blockchain-based digital identity platform available on smartphones… Samsung Electronics Co, three mobile carriers — SK Telecom Co, KT Corp and LG Uplus Corp — KEB Hana Bank, Woori Bank and Koscom, an IT subsidiary of the main stock exchange, signed an agreement to jointly develop a mobile application for the digital ID platform.”


Juniper forecasts rapid growth in mobile-first digital government IDs

Digital ID platforms to be used by 5bn people in 2024, as emerging economies go mobile-first — Juniper Research — “The number of people using government-issued digital identity credentials will grow by over 150% from an expected 1.7bn in 2019 to over 5bn in 2024… Mobile ID schemes take the lead over digital identity cards, with a third more users relying on apps compared to cards in the next five years.”


Pentagon researchers unveil biometric identification technology that works from 200m away

The Pentagon has a laser that can identify people from a distance — by their heartbeat — MIT Technology Review — “A new device, developed for the Pentagon after US Special Forces requested it, can identify people without seeing their face: instead it detects their unique cardiac signature with an infrared laser. While it works at 200 metres (219 yards), longer distances could be possible with a better laser. ‘I don’t want to say you could do it from space,’ says Steward Remaly, of the Pentagon’s Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office, ‘but longer ranges should be possible.’”



Singapore to introduce mobile citizen ID platform

More citizens and businesses satisfied with government digital services — Government Technology Agency of Singapore — “By the third quarter of FY19, the Government will launch ‘SG-Verify’, a facility for businesses to perform secure identity verification and data transfer through QR scanning. This will provide businesses an alternative for visitor registration and access, customer acquisition at roadshows, or any other use cases that require identification.”



Google releases Android Q Beta with added biometric authentication support

Introducing Android Q Beta — Google — “In Android Q we’re extending support for passive authentication methods such as face, and adding implicit and explicit authentication flows. In the explicit flow, the user must explicitly confirm the transaction in the TEE during the authentication. The implicit flow is designed for a lighter-weight alternative for transactions with passive authentication. We’ve also improved the fallback for device credentials when needed.”



W3C adopts password-free login standard

W3C approves WebAuthn as the web standard for password-free logins — VentureBeat — “The specification lets users log into online accounts using biometrics, mobile devices, and/or Fido security keys. WebAuthn is supported by Android and Windows 10. On the browser side, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge all added support last year. Apple has supported WebAuthn in preview versions of Safari since December.”


LG G8 ThinQ smartphone unveiled with hand vein authentication

LG’s latest flagship uses your hand veins to unlock — TechCrunch — “LG says the phone’s Hand ID tech is the first to use ‘advanced palm vein authentication’ — which could well be accurate… LG’s Hand ID identifies owners by recognising the shape, thickness and other individual characteristics of the veins in the palms of their hands.”


Liopa uses lip reading to add security to face recognition systems

Belfast tech startup using automated lip-reading to make user authentication systems more resistant to spoofing attacks — Liopa — “LipSecure works in conjunction with the vendor’s existing FR [facial recognition] system and prompts the user to repeat a random sequence of digits that appear on their screen. Liopa’s AI-based Visual Speech Recognition (VSR) technology checks if the digits have been spoken or mimed correctly and thus determines if there is a ‘live’ person present.”


EU sets out plans for contactless European identity cards

Better security for ID documents: Council Presidency and European Parliament reach provisional agreement — The Council of the European Union — “Under the proposed new rules, identity cards will have to be produced in a uniform, credit card format (ID-1), include a machine-readable zone, and follow the minimum security standards set out by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation). They will also need to include a photo and two fingerprints of the cardholder, stored in a digital format, on a contactless chip.”


SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom to build blockchain-based digital ID platform

SKT teams up with Deutsche Telekom for blockchain biz — Korea Times — “SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Labs will work together to develop and commercialize blockchain-based mobile identification that can be utilized in various areas including access control, dealings and contracts… The firm said blockchain-based digital identification could also replace identification cards issued by the government such as passports.”