Concern about Police Minister’s remarks on extending biometric tools for policing

Concern about Police Minister’s remarks on extending biometric tools for policing

The Financial Times has reported that The Ada Lovelace Institute expresses some “concern” about proposals to increase the use of facial recognition in policing, which also includes CCTV and body-worn cameras.

The Police Minister, Chris Philp’s remarks rehash an ethical and moral debate about the merits of biometric technology to enhance police capabilities while capturing and retaining biometrics information.

The spectrum of criminality is very subjective and extensive, with current guidelines for retaining data differing depending on the severity of crimes committed.

Since changes imposed in 2013, fingerprints and DNA from proven innocent individuals are destroyed immediately, with the police compliant with more a restricted retention schedule.

DNA profiles and fingerprints pertaining to convicted criminals however can be retained indefinitely, for a period of 3-5 years or immediately destroyed.

NADRA offers biometric verification platform to empower startups

NADRA offers biometric verification platform to empower startups

Emerging startups are being lent support by NADRA’s new initiative to provide a secure integrated biometric verification platform to protect customers’ data.

Taking to Twitter, NADRA’s Chairman called the platform “game-changing” and empowering to ensure biometric verification for onboarding and data sharing is implemented by startup companies to retain customers.

“The introduction of Nishan Pakistan marks a significant milestone in the digital transformation of verification processes. By harnessing the power of biometric technology, NADRA aims to provide startups and young entrepreneurs with cutting-edge tools and resources to facilitate their growth and success,” the statement read.

Companies adopting NADRA’s ID verification system can deliver a secure customer identification service which is rooted in a secure design and privacy when digitally verifying biometric information.

Nishan Pakistan is offering an array of services for desktop or contactless biometric verification including leveraging the capabilities of smart phones to acquire fingerprints for matching, collecting data about their customers and digitalising the Know Your Customer (KYC) process.

Face recognition for priority customers at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

Face recognition for priority customers at Berlin Brandenburg Airport

The introduction of an advanced facial recognition service at Berlin Brandenburg Airport will expel boarding passes from the travel experience for some priority customers.

Premium passengers can enjoy the streamlined service, BER Traveller, which is available now in collaboration with Lufthansa Group. With boarding passes being discontinued from essential travel, the modern passenger’s expectations for security, experience and ease has transcended all thanks to biometrics.

Additional touchpoints in the airport will leverage BER Traveller and process passengers faster to the priority security lanes.

Heike Birlenbach, who is Head of Customer Experience Lufthansa Group said:

“We are improving our passengers travel experience in the long-term through contactless, biometric services since they make airport processes simpler and more efficient. I am pleased that we can now also offer this innovative service to our HON Circle Members and Senators in Berlin. Our customers greatly appreciate this new service at all locations where biometric checks have already been introduced.”

Biometrics adoption

Countless airports and airlines have endeavoured to deliver a “golden age” for travel. In May Emirates Airline announced it will be launching biometric check-in to simply passenger processes while face recognition is being deployed in three international airports.

Delta Air Lines has tested broader modality deployments using fingerprint and iris recognition and seized biometrics as an option of identity verification for daily activities, including onboarding for travel and checking in on our mobiles.

Speaking to high-level influencers at FTE Global, back in 2018, Gil West said “having that option (of biometrics) is quickly becoming an expectation that we are working hard to meet through the Delta biometrics programme” that since, the Star Alliance and individual airports and airlines have replicated.

Travellers at Berlin Brandenburg Airport in 2023 must submit their biometrics and personal information in advance of travelling in an app called FastID. Although voluntary, Berlin Brandenburg and the Lufthansa Group are planning an expansion of biometric offerings over the following months to capitalise on the revenue opportunity and enrol future travel security.

With a long-term biometric entry/exit programme, the U.S. CBP has been one of the most forceful and committed aviation bodies to implementing biometrics and accurate face matching protocols across the U.S., comparing live passengers’ scans with the largest advanced biometrics database.

The biometric service at Berlin Brandenburg Airport will similarly take photos through cameras installed at touchpoints and match the profiles with passengers’ biometric data stored in the FastID app.

Deployments by the Lufthansa Group go as far back as 2018 at Los Angeles International Airport with newer projects including at Hamburg Airport. Lufthansa Group airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS, became the first to launch a new interoperable biometric identification platform developed by Star Alliance in November 2020.



FLASH SALE with 3 weeks to go until Identity Week Europe 2023 kicks off!

FLASH SALE with 3 weeks to go until Identity Week Europe 2023 kicks off!

🚨Mark your calendar and set your alarms!🚨

We are thrilled that a broad cross-section of the identity ecosystem has now registered for our FREE expo pass for Identity Week Europe, however we want to highlight a very exciting offer coming this week only…

On Wednesday we will be announcing a FLASH SALE on our full conference passes!

This is happening for a limited time only, so be quick! You won’t want to miss out on this unprecedented opportunity to upgrade your ticket and benefit from over 200 expert speakers across 6 conference stages during the two days. Get exhibition and premium conference content access.

Stay tuned for our official sale launch and prepare to grab your discounted Identity Week Europe tickets before they’re gone!We can guarantee ticket prices will not go lower than this as the time is nearly here to welcome our most impressive show to date. 

Australia’s holistic approach to digital ID rollout for age verification on porn websites

Australia’s holistic approach to digital ID rollout for age verification on porn websites

With an imminent report to be published detailing a roadmap for age verification on adult sites, Australia’s Communications Minister, Michelle Rowland has hinted at taking a holistic approach to rolling out a national digital ID and reforming the Privacy Act.

She stated the government is exploring digital identifiers to manage identity access across numerous government portfolios public-facing services.

“We’re working through this methodically” she said.

Parliament’s Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs in 2020 recommended stringent enforcement and compliance with mandatory age verification filters before viewers could access and view porn material online. Online pornography is commonly associated with negative impacts on young people’s development and often skewed ideas of relationships, sex, sexuality and even gender, justifying facial recognition technology despite some “troubling” views around privacy and unnecessary data retention.

A variety of age verification approaches seem to have been whittled down to the proposal of checks based on government-issued national ID that everyone can obtain, allowing at the same time access to a host of government sites.

She stressed she intends the report to quash user concerns of handing over their digital data:

“We’re in an environment in Australia where people are reticent to give over their data … We have every intention of bringing this to a conclusion and releasing the report,” Rowland said.

“The evidence was clear that exposure to online pornography is associated with terrible harms to young people’s health, education, relationships, and wellbeing,” the committee chair, LNP MP Andrew Wallace said.

In 2029 the UK dropped a total ban on holding websites accountable for not using facial recognition solutions to block minors amid privacy concerns.


Healthcare apps issued privacy warning in FTC vote

Healthcare apps issued privacy warning in FTC vote

The Federal Trade Commission has voted to crack down on consumer health apps violating privacy regulations by refreshing its Health Breach Notification Rule and issuing an updated policy  on acceptable practices to collect and use consumer biometrics for marketing purposes.

Spotting deceptive or privacy risking practices – particularly data sharing between other third parties – is a priority to safeguard sensitive medical information. While patient data can be shared between professionals within the NHS and healthcare, the emphasis of the FTC’s action is on preserving the integrity of the healthcare profession and the trusted relationship with patients that should prevent their digital identity and privacy being exposed.

Given the proliferation of biometrics across every sector and digital customer services, data security and privacy concerns are heightened in these conditions. Unlike the public NHS portal, there are more health and fertility apps available now which collect health information and capitalise on our interests to better our wellbeing, lifestyles and mental health amid breaking pressure on the NHS and mainstream healthcare services.

The vote took place on May 18. Previous enforcement action has been taken to hold companies like Premom accountability for breaching privacy.

Flo Heath, a period and fertility tracker app, settled a civil penalty brought by the FTC for sharing sensitive health information about women.

The FTC intends to clarify its terms to define “breaches of security” under the rule including the “unauthorised acquisition of identifiable health information that occurs as a result of a data security breach or an unauthorised disclosure”. Any data that infers sensitive health information about an individual such as experiences of mental health should be confidential and omitted from marketing or advertising campaigns.

The FTC is growing increasing concerned over biometric surveillance, although biometrics has many legitimate many sector uses to support law enforcement, immigration, the criminal justice landscape and healthcare if only necessary information is collected to deliver health services. Emotional biometrics on the other hand are widely considered to have no credit or medical commendation to read a person’s mood, feelings or demeanor.





Significant delays and mounting costs hamper delivery of Home Office’s biometrics programme

Significant delays and mounting costs hamper delivery of Home Office’s biometrics programme

The Home Office Biometrics (HOB) programme will be implemented later than anticipated in March 2025 with huge operational challenges delaying the delivery date.

The deferral will impact a range of business operations that leverage  biometric data services to ensure security to their systems, employees and data.

Costs have been incurred by the postponement with the Home Office confirming the amount to be around £2.2 million, contributing to the overall project spend of £5 million to deliver technical Facial Recognition Matching, Live Scanning and Bureau and SCBP digital transformation to the Cloud.

Sustained supplier challenges in the years 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 have had a rippling effect to extend the deployment phase into future years. A greater funding requirement of £76.7 million was requested to see the service fully delivered to not only create a biometric databank for onboarding to government services but also to share useful identity information with other public sector bodies like the police and other government departments.

Hampering the forecast for 2024, the migration of the Strategic Matcher engine from IDENT1 to a newly developed system will also see significant delays.

It is now clear that Stage 1 will not be completed by the end of the current tender, held by Fujitsu, and will become the responsibility of a new appointed vendor that will takeover the completion of phase 1 and further stages.

Fujitsu was appointed in 2018 securing a five-year £28m contract to deliver the creation of biometric matching technology.

The business case for the HOB Programme was approved on 26 September 2022. The prospect of running the programme by March 2025 will eventually deliver modern police practices of undertaking biometric profiling of potential suspects and offenders by collecting their biometrics to complete facial or fingerprint matching.

The statement says the platform will initially provide capability for facial matching, fingerprints, and DNA, optimising and ensuring interoperability with existing biometric products as well as integrating wider biometric modalities such as voice and iris to meet the high demand.

The capture of biometric data will help the Home office to build a databank of “distinct, digitised, and verifiable identities” that can be shared with other government departments.

The statement confirmed that investigating the accounts for the Programme is a “normal procedure” for significant policy proposals or plans on major projects to assess whether they meet the appropriate standards.

In total, to date the project, which began in April 2014, has cost £1.15bn.

WhatsApp introduces Chat Lock privacy tool

WhatsApp introduces Chat Lock privacy tool

WhatsApp is introducing an additional layer of security to protect private or “intimate” conversations from being easily viewed when the app is open.

Chat Lock is a user privacy tool which will upgrade the current chat “archive” option on the popular messaging app. The user can opt to hide conversations from other active chats behind password or biometric authentication.

“Intimidate” chats can be protected from obvious viewing, with some arguing that the feature could an ulterior purpose to conceal affairs or secretive conversations.

Whatapp describes on its website what purposes Chat Lock may be useful for, for example to hide notifications when a “special chat” arrives while someone else is holding the phone.

By tapping a group or 1-2-1 contact’s name, users that may be prone to sharing their phone with family members of friends can easily archive these chats and receive discreet notifications that keep the sender anonymous.

WhatsApp is a highly secure end-to-end encryption platform which delivers total privacy to users, however such strong security is detrimental to retrieving messages used as part of criminal prosecutions. With the police forces encountering this issue too, upcoming legislation may weaken end-to-end encryption on the service, endangering WhatsApp’s future longevity if the bill is passed.


Identity Week Europe: new speakers on the pulse of identity trust, interoperability, accessibility and less friction

Identity Week Europe: new speakers on the pulse of identity trust, interoperability, accessibility and less friction

Final arrangements are being made to bring you the next edition of Identity Week Europe.

With over 4,000 attendees set to come, the event will be the most thought-leading conference to-date with key players in the room and sharing their insights on stage and ground-breaking solutions being presented to match industry demand. We are thrilled that you are joining us on the 13-14 June and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome you through the door. Upgrade to a full conference pass now to access every track and 100+ expert sessions across 2 days. The full conference agenda is finalised and speaks for itself in cultivating a show that has experts from each key sector and domain of identity and digital represented.

Our latest speaker to announce who will be delivering a solo analysis of The Netherlands’ Smart Digital ID Wallet is Michiel van der Veen, Director of Innovation, RvIG! 

The Netherlands is a central location where many European stakeholders interplay, and diving headfirst into its kingdom-wide wallet strategy, The Netherland’s pulse on innovation has been emulated elsewhere in Europe for technical and trust interoperability.

Dr Michiel van der Veen, Director of Innovation at the Netherlands Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations, will showcase the country’s efforts, successes, and the way forward for a compliant and accessible identity wallet.

With the impending EU digital wallet promising complete interoperability but allowing countries to devise their own systems of digital credentials in one place, it is a popular topic that permeates through the conference agenda.

E.g. Panel: “Creating an Accessible and Frictionless Digital ID Wallet”This cross-industry panel tackles the idea of creating an accessible and interoperable digital ID wallet.

This is the last week of our final price offer so upgrade your ticket before the 19th May to avoid disappointment!


USA’s data ultimatum to Enhanced Border Security Partnership members still being negotiated a year on

USA’s data ultimatum to Enhanced Border Security Partnership members still being negotiated a year on

In February 2022, the USA issued an ultimatum on biometric data sharing as a condition to its Visa policy, launching the Enhanced Border Security Partnership. Members including the UK, Israel and the EU were targeted first to share data to maintain the USA’s vast databank – the IDENT/HART system – to fight serious crime and immigration.

A year on from the ultimatum, a Council of the EU document, obtained by Statewatch, reveals delays with the EU Commission “working on a Proof of Concept” that would assess the added value of this sharing of information”.

The USA has had a “generally” positive dialogue with member states, coordinating with the Council’s working party on information exchange and internal security (IXIM). However, secrecy over these discussions and a lack of transparency is so far not advancing the USA’s changing stake with its visa policy.

Chris Jones, Statewatch Director, comments in the report on the EU’s court ruling on repeated occasions that the USA’s IDENT/HART system compromises privacy protections for non-citizen’s data – and yet states members in the Enhanced Border Security Partnership are expected to meet the USA’s conditions by leveraging their datasets to add to the USA’s master database.

The IDENT/HART system is the world’s second largest biometric database holding over 270 million identities. It can automate checks on a high volume of transferred data within minutes.

The USA’s plan is hindered by their own data protection issues.

It will not be such a quick and efficient process to “implement the EBSP through existing agreements with members on Preventing and Combating Serious Crime [PCSC] and curbing immigration which the USA envisaged by imposing the criterion in February 2022.

Regular discussions and debriefings will be needed to establish the partnership and coordination at EU level.

EU tests vote on banning police face recognition powers

EU tests vote on banning police face recognition powers

A controversial EU vote was tested on Thursday on whether to ban the police’s power to use facial recognition technology or deem it a normal practice of lawful policing.

Some argued that testing the vote encouraged unfair comparisons between the majority of police forces and China’s mass surveillance regime, conflating biometric technology with ‘surveillance’.

The law amendment was narrowed down in one of 12 groups of proposed amendments from 3,000 submitted by the committee of MEPs last year. The test vote was influenced by the impending AI Act which will focus on regulating the use of modern technologies to maintain the public’s right to privacy and security.

A group of centre-right EU lawmakers are challenging the law amendments to defend appropriate modern policing methods.

Previously, the IBIA shut down claims by some US senators that the Transport Security Association used “surveillance” biometrics, contributing to a false narrative around ‘surveillance’ technologies.

Charities have expressed their concern that real-time facial recognition is being abused by police and border officials on streets in the EU as well as by authoritarian countries like China.

Dragos Tudorache, representative of the AI Act, supported the vote saying:

“There is no stronger safeguard [than this ban]. A border crossing point is a public space. According to the text we have right now, you will not be able to deploy AI biometric recognition technology in a public space”.

It was reported in 2021 that 40 MEPs called for the incoming legislative proposal on AI (known as the AI Act) to place an outright ban biometric surveillance, or biometric technologies used by authorities in public spaces.

MEPS wrote: “Biometric mass surveillance technology in publicly accessible spaces is widely being criticised for wrongfully reporting large numbers of innocent citizens, systematically discriminating against under-represented groups and having a chilling effect on a free and diverse society. This is why a ban is needed”.

In December 2018, Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner opened a thorough investigation to uncover how police forces used FRT after mass failure rates and misidentifications, bias, intrusive testing and discriminatory practices.

With 84 votes in favour and 7 against, Thursday’s vote opened negotiations for a mandate to implement rules over Artificial Intelligence. MEPS created a list of intrusive uses of facial recognition technology which included prohibiting predictive policing systems for profiling, categorisation (biased) systems, ’emotion’ recognition and “real-time” screening.

However, the draft omitted a ban on law enforcement biometric use in the case of serious crimes after judicial approval.

Before negotiations with the Council on a formal law can proceed, the whole Parliament must vote on the draft mandate in 12-15 June session.

DHS explores suppliers to move biometrics system to the cloud

DHS explores suppliers to move biometrics system to the cloud

The Department of Homeland Security has issued an information request from potential suppliers that could win a contract to bring biometric administration to the cloud.

The request will explore development and management tools for a cloud-based biometric database that enables proficiency in biometric administration and data collection.

Biometric technology continues to be a component of ensuring future security, safety and a positive customer experience for travel and the aviation industry. The potential contract signals a more permanent move to cloud systems after two departments of the DHS –  Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection – temporarily trialled the cloud-based Traveler Verification Service, comparing cloud held passport photos of passengers against live images.

One of the reasons for cloud-based management tools is to “mitigate and resolve identified issues in the current usage of multiple uncoordinated tools for managing requirements” and enable the DHS to its fulfil duties in sharing passenger biometric data with other agencies.


SA Home Affairs Committee “disappointed” with slow progress to migrate to automated biometric identification system

SA Home Affairs Committee “disappointed” with slow progress to migrate to automated biometric identification system

In South Africa, the migration from the Home Affairs’ National Identification System to an Automated Biometric Identification System has been stalled by repeated delays to expedite new technology and phase out physical documents.

The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs expressed disappointment that the deadline for completing the transition has been pushed back, with the service provider requesting numerous time extensions to deliver the migration and due diligence.

Significant financial investment was funnelled into the migration process which had been in the planning stages for years.

The committee approves of penalties against the company for the unacceptable delays and instructs challenges and oversights to be addressed, for example why the plan was not followed for migrating data, ensuring end-to-end testing, and synchronising HANIS data.

The department is urged by the Committee to find a workable agreement to impose the penalties and will meet with the service provider and test their biometric systems.

The biometric modality system will upgrade greater capabilities for population registration.

Latest keynote and agenda announcements – upgrade your pass today!

Latest keynote and agenda announcements – upgrade your pass today!

We can’t wait to welcome you through the doors at the RAI, Amsterdam in June for Identity Week Europe 2023.

We wanted to take the opportunity to outline some of the incredible content you may be missing out on without a full conference pass, as NOW is the time to upgrade.

Identity Week Europe is the premier event for the identity industry, bringing together industry leaders, experts, and innovators from around the world.With a paid ticket, you’ll have access to a wide range of premium identity content, over 250 speakerspanels and networking opportunities that you won’t find anywhere else. Take a look below at some of the full conference features…

Session: Establishing Secure Digital Identity in the Metaverse: theSantander StoryIldefonso is the CDiO Customer & Innovation at Santander UK and is leading the design, build and run across all self-service channel platforms across all business domains.He also looks after Research & Development and proofs of concepts as well as delivering high profile innovation programmes – Apple Pay, OnePay FX, the blockchain-based international payments service to retail customers.

Meta could be sanctioned by FTC for misusing children’s data

Meta could be sanctioned by FTC for misusing children’s data

The Meta empire could be hit with sanctions by The Federal Trade Commission for misusing and profiteering from children’s data to sell virtual reality products and target harmful advertising campaigns.

Other social media networks such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram – which are all managed under the Meta Group – would be subject to pay a $5 million penalty following a privacy review which unveiled significant flaws and weaknesses in their protocols to protect children in online forums and messaging apps.

Facebook has “repeatedly” fallen below “privacy promises” warranting the sanction, said Samuel Levine, director of the Commission’s consumer protection bureau.

In December, Meta’s targeted advertising plans were accepted but with a warning on adhering to privacy standards by the EDPB, a body that ensures GDPR compliance.

Expanding restrictions on Meta’s use of facial recognition technology, the Federal Trade Commission has insisted that Meta must seek consent to collect personal data from user verification.

IDEMIA chosen to deliver TSA’s Credential Authentication Technology

IDEMIA chosen to deliver TSA’s Credential Authentication Technology

IDEMIA Identity and Security (I&S) North America, the leading provider of biometrics and secure identity solutions to federal, state, and local government agencies, is pleased to announce they have been awarded a contract by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for the next generation Credential Authentication Technology (CAT). The contract ceiling is $128M with a period of performance over seven years.

CAT is utilized by the TSA to ensure ID authentication* and confirm boarding pass and Secure Flight pre-screening status at the airport security checkpoint. CAT provides enhanced fraudulent ID detection capabilities while confirming the identity and flight information of travelers, and is currently being utilized at approximately 200 airport locations nationwide. The next generation CAT, CAT 2, enhances security screening and enables a touchless experience through biometric technology that includes face match ** and acceptance of digital identity credentials, like Mobile ID.

“CAT is one of the most innovative programs we have worked on at IDEMIA, and we are proud to continue building robust identity validation and verification technologies for our partners at TSA, supporting our Homeland’s security mission. The CAT program is setting the standard for us in our public private partnerships across government. Earlier this year we delivered our 2,054th CAT unit to the TSA, a milestone truly representing our team’s hard work, dedication and subject matter expertise in identity and security.”

IDEMIA I&S North America has also been an authorized TSA PreCheck® enrollment provider since 2013, processing enrollments for over 17 million travelers to date.

Leveraging AI to develop best-in-class biometric algorithm

Leveraging AI to develop best-in-class biometric algorithm

Guest article provided by TECH5

In the last few months, AI (Artificial Intelligence) based technologies and products such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard have been hot topics across the media. AI, which has seen exponential development and growth over the last several decades, has recently reached a zenith in terms of hype and ubiquitous use that includes industry, science, medicine, education, and government to name a few. AI is being touted as the next technology that will revolutionize the world and has been compared to the technological innovations initiated with the rapid rise in internet companies during the dotcom boom, the advent of virtual and augmented reality, and the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Today, many experts believe that AI is set to be the next generational disruptor with some predicting its effect to be ground-breaking in several applications and fields that may even lead to the redundancy of entire professions.  

We at TECH5 recognize that AI is an invaluable technology that can be used to great effect to optimize a wide range of activities, which in turn will speed progress, help professionals in their daily work as well as aid researchers like us to develop innovative technologies. However, AI can also be used with different levels of success, as more than just using some AI approach and standard methods for training may be required to achieve spectacular results. 

Today, it is already clear that many technology companies claim that they are using AI in their products, and with Big Tech gearing up for a new AI arms race, more and more players will feel the need to sprinkle AI references into everything they do to appear relevant. Unfortunately, this will quickly lead to the devaluation of belonging to an AI league, blurring of positioning, and confusion in the market. 

In this article, we will explore the real impact of AI on the biometric industry, as well as share our vision and explain how TECH5 has long been using AI and Machine Learning (ML) to develop best-in-class contactless capture and matching algorithms across various biometric modalities. 

AI in Biometrics 

The application of AI for the training of biometric algorithms is not new. The industry started using AI in the early 2000s, when researchers began developing algorithms for face recognition that incorporated ML techniques such as support vector machines (SVMs), allowing computers to learn and recognize faces with increasing accuracy. A decade later, the industry incorporated the use of deep learning-based neural networks for extracting information-rich features from faces. This move towards resource-intensive but accurate algorithms was mainly due to the availability of large-scale training datasets and compute devices such as Graphical Processing Units (GPUs). Following the success with face recognition, researchers started exploring the use of AI for fingerprint recognition – a much more niche domain.   

 Despite access to knowledge and open availability of neural network models, not all biometric algorithms available on the market perform at the same level. Optimal performance of a biometric algorithm is contingent upon the utilization of specialized domain knowledge for the creation of robust features, bias mitigation using appropriate training strategies, as well as ensuring viability for deployment. Therefore, when analysing any vendor’s technology, it is critical to consider technical aspects, such as matching speed and recognition accuracy that have been determined in international tests/evaluations, the size of biometric templates that can affect hardware footprint and total cost of ownership, along with the crucial but often underestimated legal aspect, that is, the collection of biometric data for training of neural networks. 

In addition, it is crucial to ensure that biometric systems are developed and deployed ethically and transparently, with appropriate safeguards in place to protect individuals’ data given the ongoing concerns about the potential misuse of AI-based biometric technologies and data, as well as the privacy and security implications of collecting, storing, and analysing large amounts of sensitive personal information.  

Data for Training 

The ability of a neural network to learn and accurately match faces, fingerprints, irises, and other biometrics is made possible through training using large amounts of diverse and representative data for training. The origin of these data has been the subject of much scrutiny and at times controversy. In terms of face recognition, for example, the internet has a plethora of freely available sources of face images – like social networking sites, and other channels. As a result, some companies scrape these face images without any concern as to the legality of the use of the images, and certainly without any official consent from the owners. 

In reaction to these practices, several countries are starting to create and implement new legislation to protect citizens’ biometric data and rights, and to provide guidelines for these data’s fair and legal use. Nevertheless, the fact remains that each company must develop its own ethical policies outlining how they choose to use images responsibly and obtain biometric data for training fairly and legally. 

Why not Every Biometric Technology and Platform is Equally Accurate and Fast 

There are three main factors that contribute to the speed and accuracy of biometric technologies. 

First, obtaining consent-based biometric data for training is expensive, and there is minimal sharing of these data across industry and academia. The lack of access to these kind of data leads to the creation of unreliable and poor-performing algorithms which can be heavily biased towards certain genders, races, or ethnicities.  

Second, the development of a high-performing algorithm that will be used in, for example, an Automatic Biometric Identification System (ABIS), and is capable of matching potentially billions of people with the same high speed and recognition accuracy requires a Research and Development team that has biometric domain knowledge and deep expertise in the design, development, and implementation of such a system. This kind of experience can only be gained through hands on creation of national-scale projects.   

Lastly, the development of best biometric algorithms requires constant investment in research, testing, and improvements. There are several independent internationally recognised biometric testing laboratories and institutions, such as NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), BixeLab, iBeta, and others, where vendors can test their technologies to ensure quality and understand their position in the market. 

Leading the Path of Innovation: AI-Based Biometric Technologies of TECH5 

TECH5 is an international technology company founded by biometrics industry professionals who have played major roles in some of the world’s largest biometric projects, including the India Aadhaar project and Indonesia’s National ID. Our team combines 500+ years of experience in biometric and secure credentialing programs design and execution, including research, development, sales, and marketing expertise.  

From its inception, the company has focused on developing disruptive biometric and digital ID offerings by applying AI and Machine Learning technologies. Our sustained investment in and single-minded dedication to developing biometric modalities capitalizing on AI brought TECH5’s technologies to the top of the NIST rankings and led us to create a suite of novel products and platforms addressing the digital ID management challenges of the 21st century.   

For years, we have invested in AI-based technologies across three biometric modalities – face, fingerprint, and iris, with the goal of developing fully inclusive identification and authentication platforms with a zero-error rate. And we believe AI has a significant role to play in the biometric matching field, serving people and businesses globally in their daily needs, biometrically verifying individuals securely and accurately, providing access to data and services, and preventing fraud.  

On the Frontier of AI 


TECH5 is committed to ensuring its technologies are highly accurate, robust, and inclusive. Our IP-protected face, fingerprint, and iris matching algorithms are consistently ranked in the top tier in NIST testing, and one of the keys to our success is our innovative approach to data training: to achieve the best results, TECH5’s research team focuses on unique and novel amalgamation of AI/Machine Learning and specialized domain knowledge from traditional methods.    

The new fingerprint matching algorithm, submitted by TECH5 to NIST PFT III1, is rated as the 2nd fastest and one of the most accurate technologies in the world. This algorithm is based on state-of-the-art AI/machine learning networks infused with fingerprint-specific domain knowledge.   

This combination allows for higher matching speed and improved accuracy of the technology, which results in a reduced server hardware footprint and a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) for the entity deploying the platform of TECH5. The TECH5 fingerprint algorithm is 400% faster than the next-fastest algorithm in the report, has a 66% lower error rate, and requires only 50% of the memory resources due to the smaller template size.   

The result of submitting our fingerprint matching algorithm to the NIST PFT III evaluation proves our claim that AI/NN (neural network) plays a pivotal role in all biometric modalities to make them robust.   

Furthermore, TECH5 has developed an algorithm for fast and accurate contactless fingerprint capture that can be performed using a simple camera of a mobile device. The technology allows for accurate biometric acquisition by capturing a fingerprint(s) image(s) with a smartphone’s built-in camera, checking and enhancing the quality of the captured image(s), running a liveness check, and then packaging and sending the data for verification or registration, all within seconds. The process ensures that the data is taken from a real person and that the image(s) are of acceptable quality, suitable for use with legacy datasets, and comply with applicable standards and customer requirements. This proprietary and patent-pending contactless fingerprint capture technology, called T5-AirSnap Finger, incorporates Machine Learning and Computer Vision with novel image processing techniques to bridge the gap between contactless and contact-based fingerprint capture and recognition and eliminates the need for purpose-built devices for the capture of fingerprint biometric data.   

The iris matching algorithm of TECH5, also a combination of AI and traditional approaches, shows the highest matching speed among all vendors participating in the NIST IREX 10 evaluation2 

Our face matching algorithm is also consistently ranked top tier in NIST evaluations. It was ranked second fastest in the world in NIST FRVT 1:1 and is among the most accurate for face recognition with face masks. 

These technologies across all 3 biometric modalities – face, fingerprint, and iris – are used in the T5-OmniMatch ABIS matching platform for National ID-scale projects, as well as in every biometric platform within the T5-Digital ID offering, ensuring inclusion across the globe, and are available for certified partners of the company as part of the flagship capture, identification, and verification offerings.  


TECH5 is in a unique position because the company has legal access to depersonalized data for training of its algorithms through partners and projects where our technology is used, academia, and biometric data acquisition.  

TECH5 continuously invests in millions of consent-based, depersonalized biometric images to train its AI-based algorithms. The company is obtaining the necessary rights for millions of images and is regularly training and benchmarking the algorithms using this data.  

Access to supersized datasets and expertise of the team ensure that our technologies are not only highly accurate and robust but also inclusive. Furthermore, we believe that only the implementation of ethically trained algorithms can help to develop a transparent and secure biometric market.  

Why TECH5 is Different and How it Benefits our Partners and Customers 

TECH5 has capitalized on its expertise, knowledge, and access to data for training to develop all three core biometric algorithms based on AI and Machine learning. Not only has TECH5 been one of the first companies to use AI across the three biometric modalities but has also been a leader in combining AI and traditional approaches for training biometric algorithms, which has led to achieving the best results on the market in accordance with NIST testing.  

One of TECH5’s goals as a company has been to create a greater understanding within the industry of biometric technologies and its benefits for the users. To that end, TECH5 regularly contributes its expertise and market knowledge as a member of different international organizations such as OIX (Open Identity Exchange), SIA (Secure Identity Alliance), Biometrics Institute, EAB (European Association for Biometrics), and others.  

TECH5 works only with certified partners worldwide, which permits us to maintain control over the use of our technologies and contribute to the ethical use of biometrics.    

Our high performing algorithms power all of TECH5’s biometric and digital ID platforms, ensuring the highest matching speed and accuracy and lowest hardware footprint among algorithms available on the market. The integration of TECH5’s technologies leads to significant optimization and lower total cost of ownership, which is critical for large-scale identity management projects. 

The Future 

In the coming years, AI is expected to continue to improve the accuracy, speed, and versatility of biometric systems. AI-based algorithms will be used increasingly more to enhance the analysis and interpretation of currently used biometric data as well as improve innovative biometric modalities such as behavioural biometrics, that are not yet widely used.  

The AI-based approaches will also help develop new modalities that are not traditional and work in non-ideal conditions. For example, palm recognition works with low-resolution cameras as it does not require stringent capture requirements like traditional fingerprint algorithms. In addition, the rate of algorithm improvements will significantly increase in the areas where traditional algorithms take years compared to AI-based ones taking months. AI will also allow efficiently combining modalities to create robust and high-accuracy algorithms.   

TECH5 will continue to lead the field in biometrics, constantly investing in research and improving our AI-based algorithms and adding new technologies to our portfolio, providing our partners and customers globally with the best-in-class biometric matching and digital ID technologies and platforms.  

Our ultimate goal in developing AI-based algorithms is to achieve race-to-zero-error across all our biometric modalities. These platforms will ensure that biometric authentication becomes foolproof, preventing anyone from impersonating another person or gaining unauthorized access. 


U.S. Department of Homeland Security selects iProov for secure border crossings

U.S. Department of Homeland Security selects iProov for secure border crossings

iProov, the world leader in face biometric verification and authentication technology, announced today that the U.S. Department Of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is using the iProov Biometric Solutions Suite Genuine Presence Assurance® technology for secure border crossings.

CBP performs numerous duties at U.S. entry control points including crowd control, baggage and cargo inspection, traveler entry interviews, travel documentation review, and assisting international travelers. iProov is being used as part of an ongoing effort by the DHS to expand CBP’s automation capabilities for required DHS screening procedures, reducing the administrative burden on CBP frontline personnel, and enhancing the traveler experience. With iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance technology, travellers can verify their identity alongside relevant documentation using their personal device in advance of arriving at the border of the United States. This information can then be used to remotely apply for travel authorization as well as to schedule an appointment at a port of entry to make an asylum claim.

“iProov is honoured to be part of CBP’s strategic initiative to improve the security of U.S. borders while enhancing legitimate travel and trade,” said Andrew Bud, founder and CEO of iProov. “We have proven our ability to support key tenets of the program around inclusivity, user experience, and the unrivalled ability to assure that the person authenticating is a genuine person, present at the time of the identity verification. This combination of factors creates a seamless, easy-to-use process for approved travellers and an overwhelming obstacle for those who have not been authorized to enter the country.”

“We’re constantly looking to elevate DHS tools by incorporating innovative technologies into our existing infrastructure,” said Melissa Oh, S&T’s SVIP Managing Director. “The capabilities resulting from iProov’s Phase 5 award will optimise the U.S. entry process and support CBP in providing a superior experience for international travellers.” The award stems from an S&T Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) solicitation, seeking novel approaches to help CBP process international travellers at ports of entry.

“iProov has had an incredible experience working with industry visionaries at SVIP to support this CBP innovation initiative highlighted by President Biden in his January 5th speech,“ said Ajay Amlani, SVP head of Americas, iProov. “The use of iProov technology fortifies CBP’s efforts to securely increase the ease and efficiency for asylum seekers trying to gain lawful access to the U.S. undermining nefarious channels that can result in dire outcomes for vulnerable people including human trafficking and death.”

Biometric data equipment planned for EU borders under EES system

Biometric data equipment planned for EU borders under EES system

Under the new entry and exit system to control migration through the European Union, around 2.5 million euros will be invested in new biometric data systems at border touchpoints, funded by the Fund for Internal Security.

Foreign travellers will be required to scan their passports at an automated self-service kiosk before crossing the border in or out of the EU, with their biometric fingerprint and facial images captured when the new system is in operation. The process is mandatory for citizens who do not hold a visa to enter the EU. Data collected by the entry/exit system is typically deleted after 3 years have passed since the last visit to a country using the EES system. 

The Foreigners and Borders Service is executing the tender covering the acquisition, installation and maintenance of biometric data equipment which will be deployed to permit entry to 25 EU countries and 4 non-EU countries that make up the Schengen area.

The investment was backed by the government and aligned with the guidelines from the European Council to proceed with “urgency” to implement “an effective management of the common external borders of the European Union… aimed at facilitating the passage of the vast majority of travellers coming from third countries”.

NEC’s NeoFace algorithm tops leaderboard in DHS biometrics rally

NEC’s NeoFace algorithm tops leaderboard in DHS biometrics rally

NEC excelled in the 2022 Department of Homeland Security Biometric Technology Rally scoring a perfect match rate of 100% accuracy out of different vendor solutions.

The test revealed negligible levels of inherent bias in the NeoFace face recognition algorithm when screening various demographics. NEC ranked highly against major global competitors in terms of accuracy and technology speed at the DHS Maryland Test Facility where specific travel experience scenarios were tested. Across the vendor landscape, many solutions are mitigating present bias and 40 of the top performing face recognition systems entered into the rally which was held in September 2022.

Dr. Kathleen Kiernan, President of NEC National Security Systems said the outcome “proved once again” that the provider was a “leader in biometrics, digital identity and vision AI”.

“NEC’s ‘Truly Open and Truly Trusted’ approach, combined with our commitment to elevating ethical and accurate biometric technology, has paved the way for us to provide face recognition solutions which elevate security for countless customers and the nation at large,” Kiernan added.