Aaron Painter, CEO, Nametag: The benefits of using ‘Sign in with ID’ over password authentication

Aaron Painter, CEO, Nametag: The benefits of using ‘Sign in with ID’ over password authentication

Aaron Painter is CEO at Nametag who participated in Identity Week America in October.

It was great catching up with him between his sessions to learn where Nametag fits in the identity ecosystem and quiz him on the secure benefits of using ‘Sign in with ID’ over password authentication.

It was fascinating to hear Aaron’s perspective on what excites him about the future of biometric technology and how it will be immersed in our daily lives in years to come.


In this short conversation, he describes the most exciting applications he’s been leading with Nametag and how the demands from enterprises and end-users are changing in terms of security, convenience, trust and privacy.


Harder rules over police biometrics come into effect in Scotland

Harder rules over police biometrics come into effect in Scotland

Stricter rules introduced in Scotland will now govern the police’s use of facial recognition technologies to carry out stop searches and arrests, which often lead to bias and discriminatory behaviour.

The new guidelines restrict the police’s power to conduct “voluntary” facial recognition tests on the public, which instead critics have argued are invasive.

The new code of practice also sets out standards over how biometric data can be acquired, held, used to aid criminal investigations. It condemns routine police checks unless a suspect has been convicted for a crime; their biometric data can be stored on the national police database in the event that they reoffend. Biometrics can also be used to exonerate suspects, which search engine database companies, such as Clearview AI have been trialling.

Biometric data encompasses personal information taken from DNA, fingerprints, iris scans, voice profiles, and facial recognition.

The Commission was appointed to prepare the statutory Code of Practice, which took effect on 16 November, 2022.

The use of biometric technology in policing has merit to attain full DNA profiles to secure convictions however as a tool deployed in routine policing, these technologies can be intrusive and compromise privacy standards.

The Scottish Police must adhere to 11 guiding principles which include ethics, privacy, lawful authority and respect for human right. However many recommendations have been issued for the “Scottish Government to work with Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority to consider legislative provision in relation to the retention and use of photographic images by the police”. A bid to establish cyber kiosks as a case study was firmly rejected in a report in September 2019.

Scotland’s Biometric Commissioner, Dr Brian Plastow, who applauds the achievements using facial biometrics said: “It is important to strike the right balance between allowing Police Scotland to do what is required to keep people safe and to protect the human rights of the public. Scotland is the first country in the world to have a national code of practice which gives guidance to the police on how biometric data and related forensic technologies can be used. It promotes good practice, transparency and accountability by setting out standards for professional decision-making while matching the needs and responsibilities of policing with important human rights safeguards. Its implementation should enhance confidence in our criminal justice system”. He is commissioning two case studies to evaluate the treatment of children and vulnerable people in custody.

TECH5 integrates IDVoice speaker recognition technology of ID R&D with T5-Digital ID

TECH5 integrates IDVoice speaker recognition technology of ID R&D with T5-Digital ID

TECH5, a leading innovator in the field of biometrics and digital identity management, today announced the integration of their T5-Digital ID with IDVoice®, the AI-based speaker recognition product from ID R&D. With the addition of IDVoice, T5-Digital ID now includes three market-leading NIST-ranked biometric modalities: face, fingerprint, and voice. The combination enables tri-modal biometric capture and liveness detection, digital ID issuance, and mobile authentication in support of use cases that demand the highest levels of flexibility and security.

T5-Digital ID performs contactless capture of all three biometrics using a mobile device and stores them in a T5-Cryptograph—a digital container for high-density storage of encrypted identity data that can be printed or digitally displayed and then scanned with a mobile device, and decrypted to biometrically verify the identity of the user. The innovative technology combination paves the way for a variety of use cases that demand offline biometric verification.

IDVoice was chosen for its powerful feature set as well as its superior accuracy, as demonstrated in several recent algorithm challenges. It ranked first in the Short Duration Speaker Verification Challenge (SdSV),i which specifically tests performance in the microphone channel. It also demonstrated strong performance in the telephone channel in the NIST Speaker Recognition Evaluation. IDVoice offers many useful features including language independence, advanced voice activity detection for improved speech processing, and speaker diarization for isolation of a specific speaker’s audio stream.

Rahul Parthe, Co-founder, CTO, and Chairman of TECH5 said: “We are delighted to announce the enhanced accuracy and flexibility of multi-modal T5-Digital ID, with features for voice contactless capture, mobile verification, and authentication enabled by ID R&D’s top-ranked voice biometrics and liveness detection, in combination with contactless capture technologies of TECH5″.

“Speaker recognition enables T5-Digital ID to support many new use cases, such as strengthened biometric verification of a customer for high-value transactions, or as an alternative authentication method when facial recognition is not feasible. Our strategic partnership with ID R&D is driving the development of unique technology solutions that allow mobile phones to serve as trusted tools for highly secure biometrics-based verification.”

By partnering with TECH5, ID R&D can further expand its presence in regions where TECH5 has already acquired a deep understanding of local markets and their specific needs. The companies expect to collaborate initially in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, where together they will offer flexible and robust solutions to new use cases in strong demand.

Alexey Khitrov, CEO and Co-Founder of ID R&D added: “We are proud to have such a strong business relationship with TECH5, and eager to jointly pursue opportunities for their ground-breaking solution”.

“As speech becomes an increasingly popular interface, voice biometrics are playing a bigger role in helping secure identity while maximising convenience and choices for users, and so we’re very pleased to contribute our expertise and technology towards realising this shared vision.”

TECH5 also plans to integrate IDVoice with its T5-ABIS identification platform, which currently leverages face, fingerprint, and iris recognition for national-level large-scale ID projects. “We see emerging opportunities for voice recognition technologies around the world. The integration of T5-ABIS with IDVoice will result in a uniquely powerful platform for foundational ID projects,” commented Mr. Parthe.

AuthenticID integrates with Ping Identity’s DaVinci

AuthenticID integrates with Ping Identity’s DaVinci

AuthenticID announced a new integration with Ping Identity, the intelligent identity solution for the enterprise, leveraging PingOne DaVinci, a no-code identity orchestration service. The partnership will allow users of DaVinci to integrate AuthenticID’s identity-proofing solution to verify government-issued IDs with 99%+ accuracy and match a selfie image to the ID for more enhanced biometric authentication.

AuthenticID joins a growing network of technology partners developing integrations with DaVinci through the Ping Identity Global Technology Partner Program. Partner solutions that integrate with DaVinci deliver an improved customer experience in a fraction of the time, through easy drag-and-drop design of digital user journeys across multiple applications and ecosystems.

AuthenticID’s Identity Proofing and Fraud Prevention solution is driven by patented AI and machine learning technology that includes over 2,000 unique computer vision data models that can automatically validate an ID document – in seconds.

Bill Hurtado, VP of Channel Partnerships at AuthenticID said: “The fraud landscape is changing rapidly and becoming more complex and it is our goal to help clients not only mitigate that fraud but provide friction-free experiences when onboarding and authenticating customers”.

“We are delighted to become an integration partner with Ping Identity and together, provide trusted identity management solutions for clients worldwide.”

“Ping Identity is committed to expanding our technology partner ecosystem to deliver better, more frictionless customer experiences,” said Loren Russon, the SVP of product management at Ping Identity. “Our partnership with AuthenticID leverages DaVinci’s seamless orchestration to ensure dynamic user journeys are delivered quickly and efficiently at every stage of the user journey.”

ID Week Europe 2023: First 50 speaker drop!

ID Week Europe 2023: First 50 speaker drop!

Each year we gather a stellar line-up of identity thought leaders, many with decades of experience in the industry, to pave the future for faster and more seamless identity services.

Our sessions, including panels, keynotes, roundtables and presentations, are designed to share road-tested insights, ideas and expertise. So we’re thrilled to announce the first 50 names taking to the iconic stages at Identity Week Europe 2023.

In a brand-new bigger venue, we will be welcoming over 3,000 attendees. Celebrate our move to Amsterdam now with 60% off tickets, and as ever, we offer free access for government and public sector individuals, plus for the first time, finance and banking professionals can too!

Build those essential business relationships face-to-face and eliminate email exhaustion as Identity Week is the number #1 event for premium networking experiences that lead to fruitful partnerships and use studies across Europe.

250 strong, the Identity Week Europe exhibition is our global flagship showcase of cutting-edge tech solutions to authenticating human identity. Whether via a secure credential, biometric, or online/digital identity solution.

Exclusive to premium ticket holders, access in-depth roundtables and engage in dynamic, intimate discussions led by some of the brightest minds in identity.

Following the huge success of our start-up village in 2022, we’re upgrading to a start-up city complete with 100 innovative start-ups working in the identity space. Meet the teams behind the future of identity.

Lastly, at the end of Day 1, our expo floor transforms into a swish hosting space to hold the networking party to end all other networking parties! Enjoy live entertainment, drinks – here’s another chance to make great connections!

Join the event to hear these speakers and many more on 13-14 June 2023 at the RAI Exhibition Centre.

Alison McDowell, Co-founder and Director, Beruku Identity

Andreas Wolf, Principal Scientist Biometrics, Bundesdruckerei GmbH

Arif Mamedov. President and CEO, Regula Forensics Inc.

Asmae Lotfi, Product Owner Customer Identity Domain, KLM

Catherine Fankhauser, Director of Identity Security Solutions, SICPA

Christoffer Bonn, CTO, Finnish Immigration Service

Claire Maslen, CMO, Consult Hyperion

Danielle Haasjes-Versluijs, Document Expert, Ministry of Justice and Security, Netherlands Government

David Palmer, Blockchain Lead, Vodafone Business

Dominic Wolbers, Document Expert, Ministry of Justice and Security, Netherlands Government

Gabriel Marquie, Senior Manager Digital Identity, IATA

Gian Battista, Head of Payments, Intesa Sanpaolo

Henk Marsman, Digital Identity Thinker

Ivan Djordjevic, Principal Security Advisor, Salesforce

Louise Cole, Head of Customer Experience and Facilitation, IATA

Martin Sandren, Product Leader, IKEA

Michiel van der Veen, Director of Innovation, RvIG

Tony Allen, CEO, ACCS

Vincent Gourmelen, Government Marketing Director, Linxens

View the rest of this incredible line-up here

Emirates signs landmark biometric data agreement

Emirates signs landmark biometric data agreement

In collaboration with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA), Emirates airline is now offering international travellers the opportunity to speed up their airport experience by consenting to the use of biometric data.

The agreement was signed by His Excellency Lieutenant General Mohamed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA in Dubai, and Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer, in the presence of several senior officials from both sides.

The first agreement of its kind globally, the strategic partnership between GDRFA and Emirates is a cooperative effort to further improve the innovative and digitally focused travel experience of Dubai visitors. The agreement improves passenger traffic procedures inside Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 and ensures a faster and more efficient airport experience for travellers transferring to connecting flights, as well as those who arrive in Dubai as their final destination.

Commenting on how the agreement will develop best-in-class services for travellers, His Excellency Lieutenant-General Mohammed Al-Marri said: “Dubai is one of the world’s most aspirational destinations, and 2022 has already seen more than 8 million tourists arrive to the city. We continue to support our key partners with best-in-class services as we strive for excellence, and innovation in positioning Dubai as the world’s leading business hub and tourism destination”.

Highlighting the importance and value of this agreement, Adel Al Redha said: “Emirates continually invests to improve customer experience and we thank the GDFRA for extending the bridges of cooperation, communication and coordination to add value to Emirates’ services and allow our international passengers to Fly Better.”

By using biometric recognition technologies and the GDRFA pre-populated biometric database to identify travellers at multiple points in the airport, travellers will be able to breeze through Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 Check-In, Lounges, Boarding and Immigration at high-speed as the AI systems recognise their unique facial features and will link to their passport for instant identity verification. A privilege previously only enjoyed by UAE residents and GCC nationals, international passengers will be able to avail of the service in 2023 by providing official consent in a couple of clicks through the Emirates app, at Emirates self check-in kiosks, or in person at Emirates check-in desks.

Italy bans facial recognition until new law introduced

Italy bans facial recognition until new law introduced

Italy’s Data Protection Agency issued a blanket ban on all uses of facial recognition on Monday, but exempting its use to manage crime and prosecute or exonerate suspects.

Facial biometrics will not be permitted until a new law is passed or at the earliest, the end of 2023 or early 2024.

The statement read:

“The moratorium stems from the need to regulate eligibility requirements, conditions, and guarantees relating to facial recognition, in compliance with the principle of proportionality”, However, the action of the Data Protection Agency shows a clear oversight of invasive policing practices which use facial recognition.

The ban though only impacts private sector use. The European Union, is currently in the process of passing the AI Act which would enforce legal frameworks for artificial intelligence (AI) across all public and private uses. In particular, the EU has an aversion to practices like mass surveilling crowds and conducting real-time stop searches, which is known to have a link to oppressive policing and bias towards marginalised groups.

Under Italian law, the processing of personal data by public bodies using recognition devices is allowed for reasons of public interest.  Two municipality were caught using the technology which prompted the ban, in the southern Italian city of Lecce. In 2021, a temporary ban was approved stopping private entities from using systems in public places.

Italy supports the Reclaim Your Face coalition, which has called for a European-wide ban on this type of technology.

British Airways trials face biometrics, physical passports are secondary ID

British Airways trials face biometrics, physical passports are secondary ID

The UK’s number #1 trusted airline, British Airways has begun a pilot trial of facial biometric systems, making physical passports a secondary ID requirement.

Physical documents are expected to continue being used in years to come as proof of identity, while coinciding with advancing digital ID technologies. So, naturally, passengers will still have to carry around their passport and be prepared to show it on request when they reach their destination airport.

More people are experiencing a faster, more efficient security process through the airport which utilises biometrics, the most common modality being face recognition.

The adoption of biometrics provides an alternative way to confirm identity, which favours more the customer experience.

The trial will affect international flights and eliminate the need to use a passport when being processed through security controls. Customers who volunteered to sign up to the pilot trial, based at London Heathrow’s Terminal 5, will be required to submit their biometric and biographic data in advance of travel.

Participants have been invited to scan their face, passport or boarding pass on a smart phone or tablet, which will stored in a pre-held gallery. The airport is fitted with Smart Bio-Pod cameras which can automatically scan and match a live image of the passenger with the pre-held data. 

Selected customers have been invited by BA to take part in the pilot trial, travelling from London Heathrow Terminal 5. They will receive an email three days ahead of their flight.

David Breeze, Operations Transformation Manager at British Airways, explained: “Not only is this the first time that our customers have been able to register their biometric information at home, but it’s the first time they can use it for British Airways’ international flights. This is a secure and efficient tool that makes for a smarter and smoother airport experience, which will reduce the time it takes us to board aircraft”.

“The beauty of this technology is that it also frees our people up to look after more complex customer enquiries and deliver the best possible customer service”. The trial is ongoing for 6 months, after which biometric systems could be rolled out for international flights.

Flights to Malaga, Spain are currently affected by the trial. According to the website, BA customers partaking in the trial can register their data at various touchpoints at Check-In Zone B.

The trial follows the introduction of automated biometrics on British Airways’ domestic flights in 2017.

Removing police power to use LFR surveillance

Removing police power to use LFR surveillance

One failing of biometric technology can be attributed to algorithm bias, which can commonly occur due to the immaturity of technologies. This can cause varying match results across different demographic groups.

Whilst the infancy of biometric technologies is one explanation for false match rates, it nonetheless raises some ethical concerns around racial unfairness.

The Racial Justice Network (RJN) is an anti-racism charity that seeks to eliminate all forms of racism in treatment towards black people, and even in technologies that could be interpreted as favouring certain demographics. While biometrics is designed to streamline the user experience, bias in biometric technology has the potential to be a vehicle for discrimination and places both physical and metaphorical barriers in the way of black people.

A specific report on bias in biometric technology tackles the common use of facial recognition in routine policing practices, which raises concerns over privacy and the use of invasive technologies.. It also feeds into an uncomfortable truth about the relationship between the black community and the police, which has long been accused of unfairly treating black people in relation to crimes.

The freedom of the police to use biometric technology at will in investigations exacerbates the “worrying racial disparities we already see in policing”. The reports calls to abolish unacceptable norms in policing to stop and search black people, who may be forced to provide a photograph which is used to find matches on the policing database.

The Facial Recognition (OIFR) App should be used in circumstances when someone cannot confirm their identity because they are deceased or have mental health, age or medical barriers. It is also permitted if the subject refuses requests to provide or provides false information about their identity.

In a study to assess racial and sexist bias in FRT algorithms, the report cities the National Institute of Standards and Technology “analysed 189 facial recognition algorithms submitted by 99 developers” which found that the majority were substantially less likely to correctly identify a Black woman than a member of any other demographic.

The findings of Big Brother Watch (2022) revealed that over 3,000 people were falsely identified by police biometrics, which was 87% inaccurate (2016-2022).

The Racial Justice Network uncovered that South Wales Police was the only police force in England and Wales to pilot use of the facial recognition mobile app (Operation Initiated Facial Recognition) in policing procedures, and worryingly, black people are 4 times more likely to be stopped and scanned than a white person.

(Loyola-Hernández, L., Coleman, C., Wangari-Jones, P. and Carey, J. (2022) #HandsOffOurBiodata: Mobilising against police use of biometric fingerprint and facial recognition technology, the Racial Justice Network and Yorkshire Resists, UK.)

IDEMIA outperforms competition in latest NIST latent fingerprint benchmark test for forensic applications

IDEMIA outperforms competition in latest NIST latent fingerprint benchmark test for forensic applications

Global Identity technologies leader IDEMIA once again is the proven leader offering the most accurate algorithms on both fingerprint and palm datasets in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)’s latest Evaluation of Latent Fingerprint Technologies.

Jean-Christophe Fondeur, IDEMIA Chief Technical Officer said: “The impressive level of performance demonstrated in this benchmark is a game changer for forensic investigation. This technology makes it easier for investigators and law enforcement to solve more crimes much faster. This is in line with our long-standing and ongoing 40-plus-year pledge to provide law enforcement agencies with the very best systems on the market. All around the world, they can draw on the most accurate algorithms to carry out latent feature searches, work more efficiently in their identification tasks and make the world safer”.

NIST ELFT is the new reference benchmark for latent fingerprint accuracy, greatly enhancing the previous ELFT-EFS benchmark. The ELFT benchmark includes both fingerprint and palm print accuracy, testing and assessing accuracy with image only or with additional features positioned by experienced human fingerprint examiners, such as minutiae.

While crime scene latent fingerprint features are the most challenging as they are often incomplete or poor quality, IDEMIA achieves the most accurate matching algorithms for both fingerprint and palm datasets with accuracy 7% to 60% higher than rival algorithms. This cements IDEMIA as the leader in fingerprint technology, while amplifying its fingerprint recognition expertise, even for the hardest fingerprints, and its world-class fingerprint technology research.

IDEMIA is truly committed to the highest level of technology to provide fast, accurate, and fair solutions. These ELFT results come on the heels of other high-ranking NIST benchmarks already achieved this year, further demonstrating IDEMIA’s technology leadership. The following awards speak to IDEMIA’s innovation and best-in-class solutions in security and public safety.

  • FACE: #1 in Fairness the latest NIST Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT).
  • FACE: #3 in the latest NIST FRVT 1:N global leaderboard.
  • FACE acquisition: #1 in the US Department of Homeland Security annual’s biometric technologies rally.
  • FINGERPRINT: #1 in mFIT Challenge in June 2022. 
  • IRIS: #2 in the latest IREX 10 benchmark, for Single-eye Accuracy. 
  • FINGERPRINT: #1 on all data sets in the latest PFT III benchmark (Proprietary Fingerprint Template) for our AFIS-class algorithms. 

IDEMIA is proud to be the leader across all biometric technologies and to integrate these top technologies into its products and solutions.



TECH5’s fingerprint and iris matching algorithms become fastest in the world, according to the latest NIST evaluation reports

TECH5’s fingerprint and iris matching algorithms become fastest in the world, according to the latest NIST evaluation reports

Fingerprint and iris matching algorithms of TECH5, an innovator in the field of biometrics and digital identity management, are the fastest in the world, according to the NIST PFT III and NIST IREX 10 evaluations. NIST Proprietary Fingerprint Template (PFT) III is a fingerprint technology evaluation exploring the performance and accuracy of proprietary fingerprint templates used in Civil ID and border control ABIS (Automated Biometric Identification Systems). The new fingerprint matching algorithm, submitted by TECH5 to NIST PFT III for the first time, and rated as the fastest matching as well as one of the most accurate in the world, is based on a combination of AI (Artificial Intelligence)/Machine Learning and proven traditional approaches.

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 TECH5 solution. 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 NIST IREX 10: Identification Track assesses iris recognition performance for identification (one-to-many) applications. Most flagship deployments of iris recognition operate in identification mode, providing services ranging from border security, expedited processing, and distribution of resources. The iris matching algorithm of TECH5, again the first submission of a combination of AI and traditional approaches, showed the highest matching speed among all vendors participating in the evaluation. The company plans to submit an enhanced algorithm within 2022 which will have even higher accuracy and speeds.

“We are constantly investing in AI-based approaches in research for all three key biometric modalities under TECH5’s umbrella – face, fingerprint, and iris – and recent results are clearly showing the benefits. The results from the first submission of our fingerprint matching algorithm to NIST PFT III evaluation is proving our claim of AI/NN playing a pivotal role in all biometric modalities to make them robust. We have ambitious plans to solidify our leading positions for all three technologies. We are convinced that this is just the beginning, and we will continue improving the algorithms powering our matching platforms with top speed and accuracy,” says Rahul Parthe, Co-founder, Chairman, and CTO of TECH5.

The biometric technologies mentioned are used in TECH5’s ABIS platform for National ID-scale projects, ensuring inclusion across the globe, and are already available for certified partners of the company as part of the flagship identification and verification offerings. These results also align with Rahul Parthe’s claims on ID4Africa when asked by Dr. Joseph Atick about contactless capture becoming effective in large-scale programs. These AI-based approaches for fingerprint matching will meet and exceed the needs.

Biometric deployment begins at Bahrain International Airport

Biometric deployment begins at Bahrain International Airport

The implementation of biometrics is due to start at Bahrain International Airport, the latest in a succession of airports worldwide to onboard faster and more secure passenger experiences.

The programme is set to get underway after leading IT provider, SITA, was awarded the contract and signed an agreement with the Bahrain Airport Company to introduce new systems at BIA.

The airport’s travel innovation efforts centre around enabling passengers to use their faces as boarding passes to eliminate cumbersome security document procedures and upgrade biometric entry-exit efforts.

The partnership was confirmed during the second day of the Bahrain International Airshow 2022 with BAC Chief Executive Officer, Mohamed Yousif AlBinfalah.

Celebrating the announcement, BAC CEO Mohamed AlBinfalah said: “BIA is the most technologically advanced, efficient, and sustainable boutique airport in the Middle East. Its state-of-the-art ICT systems and infrastructure are designed to enhance efficiency, improve security, and meet passengers’ growing expectations for a more seamless airport experience. Introducing this new biometric solution will further enhance the passenger experience, enabling travellers to pass through checkpoints faster and with less staff involvement, while ensuring every passenger who boards is who they say they are, with no room for human error”.


CBP Commissioner hands in resignation

CBP Commissioner hands in resignation

Customs and Border Protection Commissioner (CBP), Chris Magnus has stepped down from the role.

The new was announced by the White House on Saturday evening, which will take effect immediately. It has been reported that Chris Magnus was asked to resign or fired following alleged disagreements over his management of immigration at overwhelmed border points across the U.S.

Tackling high numbers of migrants crossing the border is also a high priority for the UK, which has levelled ethical, practical and security concerns towards the government. In conjunction, the government’s action to send asylum seekers to Rwanda has proved a controversial strategy.

Mandatory facial biometrics for Northern Ireland entry

Mandatory facial biometrics for Northern Ireland entry

The Nationality and Borders Bill was introduced by the House of Commons in July 2021, taking a new strategic direction to deal with immigration in the UK.  The legislation after it was passed in April of this year emboldens the Home Office’s plans for immigration, the Rwanda partnership and amends to the UK asylum system, making illegal entry harder to achieve.

In addition to introducing a two-tier asylum system, the removal of appeal processes and higher standards of identity proofing, Non-Irish EU citizens will also be required to hand over biometric facial and fingerprint information to travel into the North of the UK. The legislation, which has attracted controversy over its ethics, is expected to be actioned next year.

Biometrics provide a streamlined, high accurate process of confirming identity, which ties into the Home Office’s approach to dealing with a refugee and immigrant crisis and turning non-UK citizens away from settling in the country.

The British minister of State for Immigration, Robert Jenrick, statement that in the long-term  “all visitors and migrants to the UK will provide their face and fingerprint biometrics under a single global immigration system” suggest an international effort to crackdown on immigration which needs the advanced capabilities of biometric technologies.

The Irish Times reports that the new information has emerged in answer to a question posed by MP Stephen Farry. He asked whether applicants to the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme would need to submit their biometric data to enter Northern Ireland from the Republic.

The ETA scheme aims to “give the UK more control of our borders, allowing (it) to block threats from entering the UK, whilst also providing individuals, and carriers, with more assurance at an earlier point in time about their ability to travel to the UK” (Gov.UK, 2022). Ireland rejected the scheme due to exemptions only being made for British, Irish, and Commonwealth citizens with the right to live in the UK. It neglects for non-visa holding Irish nationals.

Stephen Farry during a speech in the House of Commons reiterated that Ireland was not being treated as an independant nation where its citizens should be exempt from the ETA requirements, calling the overarching Nationality and Borders Bill  a “reckless, anti-immigration agenda” post-Brexit.

The common interest of the UK and EU during Brexit was to avoid hardening Ireland’s borders to facilitate tourism, Irish nationals crossing the border and trade.

Sterling announces partnership with Yoti, expands digital identity offering for recruitment

Sterling announces partnership with Yoti, expands digital identity offering for recruitment

The thorough process of checking a candidate is trusted and suitable is pathing the way for identity providers to expand their offering in the recruitment sector, with secure platforms to exchange career credentials and pre-employment ID verification software.

To consolidate their digital identity solutions in the employment market, Sterling Identity and Yoti have teamed up in a formal partnership to integrate their verification methods for the candidate.

Sterling collects biometric and verification data across sectors for businesses and individuals, providing verification that fulfils a primary needs for employers to know who candidates are while making these trusted tools decentralised so the applicant has control over their application.

Yoti specialises in identity verification services for government partners where facial recognition technology and digital ID is used in similar ways to establish the background of an individual and rights to work, live and access opportunities. Together, this collaboration will streamline background checks to enable the exchange of personal details between businesses and organisations and individuals.

In a statement confirming the news, Robin Tombs, CEO at Yoti said:

“We’re delighted to combine our digital identity verification technology with Sterling’s expertise in background screening to create an innovative, integrated digital identity solution. We can offer companies the most comprehensive, secure, and efficient employment checks. By adopting an ‘identity first’ approach, employers can be confident the correct person is applying for the job, and benefit from a smooth onboarding process. Our digital identity checks will streamline background screening and improve efficiencies throughout the hiring process”.

Digital identity verification should always be privacy-abiding, even when used in the hiring process to build up a profile of an individuals’ skills, character, personal and professional background, convictions and location. It should not be used as an invasive technique to discriminate or ruin job chances.

Children’s digital privacy act could market more intrusive age verification technologies

Children’s digital privacy act could market more intrusive age verification technologies

Governments and agencies have a duty to renew safeguarding measures that protect children online. The internet is flooded more than ever with content deemed inappropriate for younger audiences, thanks to the continuous advances of the World Wide Web.

In September, The California Age Appropriate Design Code got passed into law to tackle children’s exposure to the dark side of the web and ensure strict data privacy regulations. Promoted as a “privacy by design” initiative, the bill goes beyond simple measures like putting in place parental controls and sets out detailed refinements to algorithms in platforms to ensure underage data is not misused to expose children to harmful content online.

The UK law has been received in more favour than the California version. Experts warned that children are often burdened with responsibility for their own safety online, rather than businesses that indiscriminately target their products and solutions to consumers of all ages.

The legislation enforces safety frameworks around products that young customers are likely to see online, rather than imposing blanket rules on all product advertising which would hold businesses account. Hence, it lacks clarity around how children can be protected in all aspects online when personal data is misused without seeking consent.

The Code was legislated by Gov. Gavin Newsom and will come into effect on July 1, 2024. The criticism reveals a lot about the mindset of businesses that calculate content that users are likely to see online. Technology providers, which currently oversaturate the market, are being called to have better processes to find out the ages of their audience.

On the other hand, this will enable businesses to ask for a government-approved ID or facial biometrics to confirm age, which some argue invades privacy rights and is a backwards step for children’s anonymity online.

Jennifer King, Stanford HAI Privacy and Data Policy Fellow said: “This is focused on kids, but this is coming for adult audiences, too”.

Questions marks remain whether with the freedom to ask users to verify their age, businesses will still meet the standards for handling personal data correctly and preventing data misuse by third-parties. The law was intended to ensure that businesses configure children’s default settings to have a high level of privacy across all platforms and do not sell on their personal information such as geo-location.

Chloe Altieri, from the Future of Privacy Forum, commented: (The law) takes a substantially different approach than the leading federal framework”.



Abu Dhabi International Airport to trial new facial recognition technology in place of passport checks

Abu Dhabi International Airport to trial new facial recognition technology in place of passport checks

Article contributed by Molly Taylor-Fagan. 

Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) has announced the launch of trials for a new facial recognition technology at border control, to replace the repetitive use of physical passports and to increase efficiency in the passenger onboarding processes.   

With the intention of reducing queuing times and cracking down on fraud, the system is designed to recognise passengers’ facial characteristics in order to verify their identity, using smart cameras and biometric technology. 

The innovation will be gradually rolled out airport-wide, with testing commencing in ‘phase one’ at the US Customs and Border Protection point at AUH. This will mean that US citizens can clear US immigration checks whilst still in Abu Dhabi, as a ‘preclearance service’.  

Abu Dhabi Airport have fully financed the system delivered by NEXT50, an AI tech company based in Abu Dhabi. The CEO of NEXT50 assured The National that the developments would ‘Ease the queues and people waiting at the airport’.  

Efforts to make airport checks more seamless and frictionless follow a report carried out by Iata, who found that airline customers are most stressed by ‘flight transfers, border control delays airport security and baggage collection’, experiences that can be eased by more efficient and streamlined airport checks. 


IATA survey reveals passengers desire convenience above all else

IATA survey reveals passengers desire convenience above all else

The 2022 Global Passenger Survey, conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has confirmed that convenience is a top concern for the majority of passengers.

The survey findings revealed that most customers were satisfied with their experience during routine airport procedures such as booking, checking-in and arriving at the airport.

10,000 people participated in the survey across 222 countries to share their travel preferences and help build an understanding of improvements that can be made to the future travel experience. Unsurprisingly, there were also key learnings to take from the report to improve transfers, border control and efficiency throughout the airport while balancing the need for secure travel experiences.

The general attitude towards the use of biometrics is positive which has an impact on reducing waiting times through border control, enhancing safety and the user experience.

83% of people also confirmed they would be willing to share pre-advanced biometric data on the day or day prior to their departure to be stored and leveraged for future journeys. 75% of participants suggested that facial recognition screening should replace the need to carry a physical passport or boarding pass. Overall satisfaction levels were lower at 66% with regards to efficiency at border controls.


Yoti and Meta to announce UK facial age verification rollout

Yoti and Meta to announce UK facial age verification rollout

Today, Yoti and Instagram plan to announce a UK-wide facial age verification rollout.

A statement from Meta read: “We’ve required people to provide their date of birth when they sign up for Instagram for several years – and last year we prompted people who hadn’t already provided their date of birth to do so in order to keep using Instagram. It’s important to us to know how old people are so they can make sure they’re having the best possible experience on Instagram – one that’s appropriate for their age”.

Instagram is a popular social media app that has a high number of underage user accounts despite imposing minimum age restrictions that prevent children younger than 13 years setting an account. In some countries the minimum age varies.  In June, Instagram announced new ways to verify age – enabling them to provide more age-appropriate experiences. This included a partnership with Yoti for age verification technologies. Instagram also outlined plans to expand testing to additional countries including India and Brazil, as well as the UK which is expected to be confirmed in an announcement today.

In an update made in October, Instagram pledged to remove Social Vouching as an option to verify age in testing. Personal vouching is a process whereby up to 3 mutual followers aged 18 or over can confirm a new user’s age and suitability to be on Instagram.

Understanding people’s age on the internet is a complex and industry-wide challenge, especially in the age of social media, but one that Meta say they have been focused on for a while.

A spokesman said: “As an industry, we have to explore new ways to approach the dilemma of verifying someone’s age when they don’t have an ID (as many people, including teens, don’t) – and Monday’s announcement is an important part of that effort”.

The announcement is expected to offer a new way for people on Instagram to verify their identity in the UK, and confirm whether they are a teen or an adult so that only appropriate content for their age is available to them. It will also strengthen strict age verification to ensure that no child is at risk of viewing content from the platform.

From today, if someone attempts to edit their date of birth on Instagram from below 18 to 18 or over, they will be asked to verify their age by either uploading a form of identification or recording a video selfie. Yoti is the UK digital identity provider that is working closely with Meta and specialises in privacy-preserving ways to verify age.

Yoti is verified by the Age Check Certification Scheme, is the leading age verification provider for several industries around the world, and has been publicly endorsed by youth and privacy experts, and regulators including the German regulator KJM. A selfie image is securely shared with Yoti only to estimate the user’s age but this process does not leverage face recognition technology to recognise a person’s full identity. The image is deleted immediately after.

Julie Dawson, Chief Policy and Regulatory Officer at Yoti commented: “We are delighted to continue our work with Meta to create age-appropriate experiences and enable people to thrive and be safe online. Our facial age estimation is a privacy-preserving solution. We built it to give everyone a secure way to prove their age without sharing their name or an ID document”. “Today’s announcement is another step in the right direction to create safer online environments.”



UAE bank launches biometric payment card with IDEMIA’s IDEX biometrics sensor technology

UAE bank launches biometric payment card with IDEMIA’s IDEX biometrics sensor technology

IDEX Biometrics ASA has announced that one of the largest banks in the Middle East has deployed a full-scale biometric payment card launch with the IDEX Biometrics partner IDEMIA, powered by IDEX Biometrics sensor technology. This launch is the first volume deployment of biometric payment cards to consumers in the Middle East, confirming the expected commercial acceleration in 2022, and a market inflection in 2023.

The Middle East is one of the fastest growing regions for card payments globally. Customers around the globe have in numerous market surveys indicated high interest in biometric payment cards with more than 70 percent indicating interest and willingness to pay for a biometric payment card. Cardholders are welcoming that more banks meet their needs for convenient and secure payment alternatives, offering limitless contactless payments, secured by the user’s unique fingerprint.

Vince Graziani, CEO of IDEX Biometrics said: “IDEX Biometrics groundbreaking sensor solution is bringing seamless payment experiences to more consumers. The biometric payment card powered by IDEX Biometrics is certified by Visa and Mastercard and will work flawlessly with any payment terminal. We are pleased to bring our innovative technology to customers and, together with IDEMIA, support banks in the Middle East as they accelerate market deployment of smarter and more secure card payment”.

More than 70% of customers favour biometric payment cards.