Speed Read

House Dems Say Facial Recognition Company Made 'Baseless Claims' (Politico, Nov 17, 2022)

An identity verification company that received millions in government contracts allegedly misrepresented how well it was serving Americans, according to Democratic leaders on the House Oversight committee. In findings released on Thursday, the committee chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), the chair of the subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis, said ID.me downplayed how long Americans had to wait to have their identities verified when applying for unemployment benefits. The lawmakers also said the company made “baseless claims” about how much the US government loses to unemployment fraud to “increase demand for its identity verification services.”


FIs Embrace Biometric Payment Cards To Improve Security, Enhance User Experience (PYMNTS, Nov 17, 2022)

Last month, biometric payment cards that incorporate fingerprint scanners received a significant boost thanks to the publication of new specifications by EMVCo, the global card standards-setting body owned by Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, JCB and UnionPay. Among other things, the new EMV Contactless Kernel Specification is intended to accelerate the evolution of biometric authentication for contactless card payments, setting the stage for widespread adoption of the technology. The concept of fingerprint payment authentication first hit the mainstream to verify identity for mobile-based eCommerce transactions. Although the first mobile device to incorporate fingerprint scanning was the Pantech GI100 in 2004, it wasn’t until Apple introduced the technology in 2013’s iPhone 5S that fingerprint-based biometrics became a viable option for mobile payment authentication.


What Do The US Midterm Election Results Mean for a Federal Privacy Law? (The Register, Nov 17, 2022)
America's midterm elections didn't result in the widely predicted Republican red wave, but the results show there will be interesting times ahead for American privacy. After an arduous week of vote counting, Democrats narrowly won control of the Senate, although depending on the outcome of the Georgia runoff in December they may need Vice President Kamala Harris to cast the tie-breaking 51st vote. Meanwhile, after winning key races late Monday night in New York, Arizona and California, Republicans remain just one seat away from claiming the House, all but guaranteeing a split-in-half legislative branch for the next two years. For the bipartisan American Data Privacy and Protection Act, now stalled in the House, this sharply divided Congress could mean lame-duck lawmakers are more likely to compromise on a privacy law instead of rushing appointments and more partisan issues through the process. Or, it could signal the death knell for the ADPPA, and stronger data privacy.

New Under-Screen Facial Recognition Tech Scans for Real Skin (KnowTechie, Nov 17, 2022)

Under-display cameras are a bit of a rarity in the smartphone world. A major barrier to their widespread adoption is their struggle to recognize faces accurately. Since they sit behind a screen, they can’t capture all the details required to distinguish a recognized user from an imposter accurately.  But that’s starting to change. Qualcomm (the company that likely designed the processor in your Android phone) has partnered with trinamiX to support its under-display facial recognition tech in its latest chipsets. TrinamiX’s tech purportedly achieves spoof-proof facial recognition, even when placed behind an OLED screen, and can spot when someone is wearing a hyper-realistic face mask. It combines standard facial recognition tests with “liveness” checks. The latter works by searching for the telltale signs of human skin, which are impossible to replicate even with the most compelling silicone masks.


Italy Bans Facial Recognition Technology With One Exception (QRCodePress, Nov 17, 2022)
Italy’s Data Protection Agency criticized two of the country’s municipalities earlier this week for experimenting with facial recognition and smart glasses technologies. This referred specifically to systems that use the biometric data for any of various purposes. With the country’s new ban, the two types of technology will not be permitted until a specific law is adopted, or at least until the end of the year, said the Data Protection Agency, a privacy watchdog.


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