TECH5 is a Gold Sponsor of Identity Week Amsterdam 2023, which takes place on 13-14 June at the RAI, Amsterdam.
Q&A provided by TECH5 with Co-founder and CTO, Rahul Parthe.
TECH5 is a team which combines 300+ years of experience in biometric and secure credentialing programs design and execution, including research and development of biometric algorithms.
All our technologies across three biometric modalities – face, fingerprint, and iris – are developed in-house with traditional and, most recently, based on AI/ML approaches. TECH5’s fingerprint and iris matching algorithms are among the fastest in the world, according to the latest NIST evaluation reports. These algorithms result from years of research and new approaches in building algorithms. For example, the new fingerprint matching algorithm submitted by TECH5 to NIST PFT III, rated one of the fastest and rated l 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 lower total cost of ownership (TCO). TECH5 also leverages its relationship with customers and academia (CITeR) to further enrich its domain knowledge and databases for training and testing.
TECH5 target markets include both Government and Private sectors. What use cases in the private and public sector have you delivered recently?
Some of the latest use cases include implementation of identification and verification, as well as Digital ID technologies for elections, physical and electronic permits, national ID, foreign resident ID, student ID, eKYC and digital onboarding, and more. For now, we cannot mention the countries and the customers for many of them, as we are yet to make public announcements, but Identity Week will be the first media to receive our press releases once we are ready to publish.
How do you ensure interoperability for example with government systems and data privacy?
TECH5 is a technology provider and not a service provider. We build state of the art biometric platforms that are used in government and private sectors and are part of their end-to-end solutions, which are responsible for data privacy and security. Data exchange between with our platforms and storage is done via open standard protocols and data formats. Data is always stored, maintained, and processed on the customer’s side and not on our side. In digital ID solutions, we enable our partners/customers to implement privacy and security by using biometrics for authentication purposes and some innovative means of using biometrics to act as cryptographic keys.
How can we combat inherent bias in biometric technologies?
We are talking here principally of facial recognition. Bias in biometrics is often a product of training data. In the past, less-than-heterogeneous datasets have resulted in the same sorts of bias, for example on racial lines, as afflict humans when recognising other people. That is to say that algorithms trained on homogeneous datasets can become efficient at matching faces that correspond to their training data but are less so when dealing with data that does not correspond to that on which they were trained. This is similar to how we humans are better at recognising faces within our own racial or other groups (for example age).
The way to overcome this is to train algorithms on as wide a range of input data as possible. However, this has led to some providers training their algorithms on publicly-available images scraped from the internet but which have not necessarily been sourced either ethically or with consent. The short answer, then, to overcoming the biases you refer to, is to ensure you train an algorithm on as wide a dataset as possible, but one which has been sourced through a consent-based process. TECH5 actively invests in acquiring consent-based datasets with wide demographic and ethnic distributions from commercial sources and also via academic participations.
In addition, we would always advise anyone designing a biometric program or process to ensure, where possible, that they use blended modalities where possible. For a national ID program, for example we would usually recommend a government consider implementing its project based on all three modalities of face, fingerprint and iris; potentially also adding other modalities such as voice.
What excites you about speaking at Identity Week Europe in June? What topics will be high on the agenda to discuss?
In our industry, today two main topics are high on the agenda – contactless fingerprint capture using mobile devices, and digital ID.
During my presentation, I will be talking about Decentralised Identity, latest trends, technologies, and their role in our future.
Is TECH5 innovating the future of biometrics and what do you hope to get from Identity Week?
TECH5 is an expert in the field of biometric technologies, innovating to realize the digital IDs of the future. We are innovating in biometrics and digital ID to address the current limitations when it comes to bridging digital divide, ease of use, privacy, security, and reducing total cost of ownership. Biometrics doesn’t exist in a vacuum, but is there to serve a purpose, which is all about identity. We believe that the future of biometrics is about Digital ID, when an identity is fully owned and managed by its holder and is biometrically verifiable and inclusive.
We are innovators at heart and are continuously investing in research and development of our core biometric technologies for face, fingerprint, and iris capture and matching, as well as biometric platforms based on these technologies, to provide the market e market globally with best-in-class products. We are also innovating in the field of making biometrics play a key role in digital identity by deriving cryptographic keys from biometrics, multifactor authentication in an offline manner, highly accurate but smaller footprint of biometric payload, revocable biometrics, and template protection.
Identity Week is a perfect event for innovators to meet to exchange ideas and inspire the industry with their work, learn from each other and partner to create new technology offerings that will disrupt the market. We are looking forward to speaking at the event, meeting new industry players, as well as old friends and partners, demonstrating our top-tier technologies and platforms at our stand, and launching our latest news.