Biometrics reaches more health cards, airports and retailers amid data privacy disputes

Concerns over Hikvision cameras play on government institutions, while biometrics provided by have sparked a questionable lawsuit in the field’s most contentious jurisdiction, in two of the past seven days’ top headlines on Biometric update. Amazon’s retail biometrics are growing, a new PAD system has been launched by Clearview, and government contract opportunities for health cards and airport biometrics continue to be a strong cycle of public sector investment.

Top biometric news of the week

France is adopting new health cards with integrated biometric data to guard against unqualified individuals who defraud the national health insurance system. Parliament has approved a budget of just over $20 million for the project, but opposition politicians have warned of the possibility of a centralized database of biometrics that would attract the attention of hackers.

UK government departments withdraw Hikvision cameras and cancel contracts with the company. Backlash over his alleged ties to China’s state security apparatus and his involvement in biometric surveillance systems used to suppress ethnic minorities has reached the country’s prime-time news reports. New Zealand could already follow suit.

The adoption of biometrics and other advanced technologies by UK police and borders is driven by a broader trend towards militarisation, according to a report by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade and Police Monitoring Network. The report comes just as the UK Home Office is equipping migrants convicted of a criminal offense with smartwatches that perform biometric scans.

Amazon One’s palm biometrics are coming to 65 more Whole Foods stores in California, including introductions in new cities and more locations in Los Angeles. The automated biometric payment system has also already been deployed in Washington State, Texas and New York. However, the company’s track record of personally identifying information won’t inspire confidence in all shoppers, as the wealth of data available through Amazon gift registries is revealed by The Intercept.

A public art exhibit in Montreal, Canada, invites people to explore how mass surveillance is altering their perception of themselves and others, Daily Hive reports. is the latest technology provider to be targeted by a potential class action lawsuit for alleged violations of the United States’ toughest biometric data privacy law in Illinois. The complaint involves an employee tracking system, but does not name the complainant’s employer, in an unusual, if hardly unheard of, twist on the most common kind of BIPA case.

As digital identity companies board the hype train to the metaverse, Heather Vescent’s column examines market forecasts and plans, and where all that revenue could come from. One view is that the metaverse represents a new and potentially dominant channel. Another is that it represents a new way of interacting with the world at large.

Morocco plans to modernize the airport in its capital, Rabat-Salé, with facial recognition for passenger processing, from self-registration with an app to baggage drops, security checkpoints and flight boarding. The full upgrade, which includes One ID-style passenger travel, is budgeted at $37 million.

Former UNDP program manager Niall McCann joined the new ID16.9 podcast shortly before leaving the agency to discuss progress in providing legal identity for all. The conversation includes some important points for biometrics vendors working on birth and vital registration systems.

Ghana is introducing a fee for biometric SIM card registration using its self-service application. The app captures contactless fingerprint biometrics, and the charge is only GH5, but a lawmaker immediately complained that the decision was made without the proper authority.

Clearview AI has launched a presentation attack detection feature for its identity verification and authentication developer tool Consent. The company’s CEO and VP of Research joined Biometric update for a demonstration and conversation about training liveness assurance systems, the model ensemble approach, and how liveness detection follows trends seen elsewhere in AI.

Vice President of Call Sign for North America Joe Micara writes in a Biometric update guest post that behavioral biometrics could be the answer to Netflix’s account sharing challenge. The technology could replace measures that caused customer service lines to fill up and lead to an eventual abandonment of passwords altogether.

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Article topics

biometric cards | biometric data | biometric liveness detection | biometrics | data privacy | digital identification | facial recognition | identity verification | payments | surveillance

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