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Thread: Biometric Update

  1. #1

    Biometric Update

    July 11, 2019

    Taking Biometric ID From Rumors To Government Service Delivery In Kenya

    Kenya’s national ID project Huduma Namba was a topic of much discussion at ID4Africa 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The largest civil registration drive planned for the year in Africa received attention for its success in reaching large numbers of people, and also for the lack of a data protection law to guard Kenya’s people and government from the security and privacy problems that have plagued identity systems around the world.

    The upper and lower legislative houses each have a separate data protection bill before them, and it is widely hoped one (or a combination of the two) will be enacted this year. By then the public’s first impressions of the new model of digital government service delivery in Kenya will likely have been formed. Kenya Ministry of Information, Communication & Technology State Department of ICT Director of Shared Services Robert Mugo spoke with Biometric Update following the lively debates that concluded ID4Africa 2019, and shortly after the registration of 37.7 million people in 52 days, which he calls a great success.

    Mugo explains that the torrent of negative views expressed around the launch of the Huduma Namba registration drive eventually helped the program to succeed. “The funny thing is that a lot of the misinformation worked for us,” he says. Rumors circulated that the ID system was associated with the ‘number of the beast’ from the Book of Revelation, or that DNA samples would be taken and used to separate families. These bizarre claims appear to have depressed the registration drive’s early turn-out, but, Mugo points out, “they say no publicity is bad publicity.”

    Public dialogue gave the government opportunities to communicate the facts of the project, and over time led to a major change.

    “So in every home, in every street people were talking about this particular project, and people were then able to take a rational view, and ask themselves for example ‘is it practical to take DNA samples and store DNA and all that?’ So the controversy brought awareness, and then people were able to take the information that the government was talking about and clarify, and make sense of it.”

    Pilot projects also demonstrated the benign nature of registration, with fingerprints and photographs collected, but not DNA, and accurate information filtered through society. Public interest evolved into public motivation, and registration lineups become longer.

    Now Kenya is running a ‘Rapid Results Initiative’, as it has done several times in the past for different projects, to assess its Huduma Namba progress and take the next steps towards making the identification system universal. The government will work to provide Kenyans below 18 years old with birth certificates, and an accelerated process for those above 18 will allow them to be registered in the system, with their biometric data enrolled, even if they do not have the documents required to complete the Huduma Namba process, Mugo explains.

    “They may not have completed the process, but they’ll still be in the system, and over time we can then figure out how to sort them out.”

    The government has dedicated workers and resources to agencies to adjudicate these more challenging cases, and resolve them, adding information as it becomes available.

    Huduma Namba is part of a broad development plan being carried out by Kenya. The plan is based on the pillars of food security, affordable housing, health care, and manufacturing, and initiatives to support each pillar depend on verifiable, unique ID. The government plans to lay approximately 9,000km of fibre optic cable throughout the country to link different service delivery offices, enabling them to take advantage of the new system.

    Registration for Huduma Namba enrolls Kenyans in a universal health care scheme. An affordable housing scheme will rely on Huduma Namba to identify qualifying families, and to make sure that each family only receives one subsidized home. The government will also use the system to target farm subsidies.

    “We’re then able to uniquely identify them, and ensure that those subsidies go to those farmers, and once they have produced, we’re able to buy back that produce, and make sure that they’re able to get the benefit of that work,” Mugo explains
    “The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave.”

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  3. #2
    Jul 12, 2019

    Biometric Flight Boarding Trialed By Air France-KLM At Two United States Airports

    Air France-KLM is expanding its use of biometrics with trials at John F Kennedy (JFK) International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston in collaboration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection as part of the agency’s Biometric Entry/Exit program.

    Facial recognition boarding systems will be used for Air France flights from the two airports, serving a combined total of more than 2,200 daily passengers. The airlines will test the speed, reliability, and user-friendliness of the technology, with the ultimate goal of making the boarding process as quick and easy as possible, according to the announcement.

    “We are excited to embrace an innovation that has the potential to make the travel experience less stressful and more secure for our passengers,” says Stephane Ormand, vice president and general manager, Air France KLM USA. “Our aim is to implement biometric boarding at 93 percent of all US airports by the year’s end, and 100 percent by 2020.”

    Vision-Box recently announced the rollout of biometric boarding at JFK’s Terminal One, and CBP plans to extend Biometric Exit to nearly all international departures within four years.

    Passengers departing from Atlanta, Los Angeles, Dallas Fort-Worth, Detroit, Dulles, San Francisco, and Seattle on Air France and KLM can already use biometric boarding systems, and other gateways are in various stages of testing.

    The airlines also recently expanded their service in the U.S. with direct flights to Paris and Amsterdam from three U.S. cities. The rapid growth in air traffic volume is one of the main motivating factors behind biometric deployments in the aviation industry, as industry stakeholders recently told Biometric Update.
    “The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave.”

  4. #3
    Jul 12, 2019

    Brain Fingerprinting, AI, IDaaS And Facial Recognition

    Major growth is forecasted for cloud-based biometrics services, which could surpass $26 billion in revenue by 2027. Market research this week for biometrics and related industries also suggests rapid growth in artificial intelligence, slightly more modest but still robust growth in facial recognition, and steady growth in brain fingerprinting.

    Brain Fingerprinting

    The global market for brain fingerprinting technology will grow from an estimated $3.62 billion in 2018 to approximately $5.34 billion in 2025, with a CAGR just above 6.25 percent, according to Zion Market Research.

    A new report from the firm describes brain fingerprinting as a computer-based test measuring electrical brain waves during the recognition of familiar stimuli or data presented on a computer screen, and says it can be used to provide evidence about crimes and to identify people involved in terrorist cells. The research firm suggests that increasing demand for biometrics could drive brain fingerprinting to replace traditional ways of detecting crime and terrorism.

    Equipment used in brain fingerprinting includes personal computers, data acquisition boards, graphics cards, sensors, and four-channel EEG amplifier systems. An electrical brain wave response called the P300 is measured in various research and scientific applications, including modern lie detector tests.

    North America is expected to lead the global market over the forecast period, but the implementation of lie detector tests for travelers crossing borders into Greece, Latvia, and Hungary represent a significant potential market in Europe.


    The market for Identity-as-a-Service will reach $26.2 billion by 2027 after expanding at approximately 26 percent CAGR from 2019, according to Transparency Market Research.

    North America is the largest regional market, and is expected to remain so with roughly a 24.5 percent CAGR, as technical advancements, increasing digitization, high internet penetration, growth in BYOD policies, and an increasing number of cloud security solution providers boost the market.

    More than half of cloud-based identity services will be delivered from public clouds, according to the report. Hybrid deployments are popular among BFSI, healthcare, and government customers with security, experience, and compliance concerns, however. While North America and Europe are mature market regions, investment in IT solutions in the U.S., UK, Germany, France, China, India, and Brazil are all expected to provide lucrative opportunities in the space.

    The report divides IDaaS products into single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication (MFA), compliance management, directory services, and others such as audit management, life cycle management, and governance. MFA was the largest segment in 2018, but compliance is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period.

    Retail, consumer electronics, public sector, and energy and utilities represent opportunities for IDaaS providers, Transparency says.

    Facial Recognition

    A report from estimates the facial recognition market at roughly $4.3 billion in 2018, and predicts it to grow at a 13.5 percent CAGR from 2019 to 2025. That would make it approximately $10.4 billion by the end of the forecast period.

    The “Global Facial Recognition Market – Forecast up to 2025” report examines hardware, software, and service components, and suggests the proliferation of facial recognition software and sensors in high-end smartphones are creating a sudden boom in the technology. While facial recognition is currently often used with other credentials, such as fingerprint biometrics, due to the technology’s early stage of maturity, expects it to become foolproof within the forecast period, and surpass other verification processes to become the main method for verification and access management. By the end of the forecast period, the report says verification processes will make up a leading share of the market.

    The BFSI sector leads the facial recognition market, but the report indicates the replacement of physical IDs will grow the market.

    Tailor-made solutions for SMBs are a significant portion of the projected revenue stream for facial recognition services, but the report also notes expected growth in government and police surveillance applications.
    “The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave.”

  5. #4
    ''...identify people involved in terrorist cells...''

    lol, it's always rolled out as; 'save the children' / save us from terrists' .....

  6. #5
    Jul 11, 2019

    CBP Tells House Committee Biometric Programs Legal and Beneficial

    The Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies faced criticism and pointed questions about privacy, security, and discrimination issues that can arise from the use of facial recognition and other biometrics from U.S. lawmakers from the House Committee on Homeland Security.

    In his opening remarks, committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) referenced a recent story (Stakeholders Split On London Police Use Of Public Facial Recognition As Study Shows 4 in 5 False Positives) in the Washington Post describing a trove of internal documents and emails that shed light on the extent of biometric information sharing between state DMVs and federal law enforcement agencies, specifically the FBI and DHS’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

    Customs and Border Protection’s Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner John Wagner told the committee that a “significant amount of time” passed between the breach of data from a subcontractor and the subcontractor’s notification of the agency, but was not able to specify how long. He says that CBP is adding audit controls to its systems to prevent data from being extracted via portable media drives. Wagner also testified that CBP has not found significant error rates relating to skin color in its pilots.

    Thompson suggested that CBP’s Biometric Entry/Exit program goes beyond the scope mandated by congress. Wagner pushed back, arguing that the program makes travel much more convenient, and is grounded in CBP’s existing authority, automating a process which had previously been manual. He also noted the different steps for American citizens, including the deletion of data after 12 hours and the right to opt out.

    “U.S. citizens are clearly outside the scope of the biometric entry-exit tracking. The technology we’re using for the entry-exit program we’re also using to validate the identity of the U.S. citizen,” Wagner said, as quoted by Gizmodo. “Someone has to do that.”

    The hearing also heard from NIST Information Technology Lab Director Charles Romine, Transportation Security Administration Assistant Administrator Austin Gould, and Secret Service Chief Technology Officer Joseph DiPietro.

    In response to questions about the potential of facial recognition systems for racial discrimination, Gould testified that the TSA is not observing “significant error rates that are attributable to a single demographic,” reports. Romine said that differences in performance between demographics is decreasing, but that it is unlikely the technology will ever have exactly equal performance for every demographic, but NIST is working on determining the extent of the difference. NIST will publish a report based on findings from its latest Facial Recognition Vendor Test this fall, according to Romine.

    DiPietro described a small-scale pilot program the Secret Service operating around the White House.

    “I am not opposed to biometric technology and recognize it can be valuable to homeland security and facilitation,” Thompson said during the hearing, as quoted by NextGov. “However, its proliferation across [Homeland Security] raises serious questions about privacy, data security, transparency and accuracy.”

    In a statement issued immediately prior the hearing, Thompson suggested the government’s biometric deployments are moving too fast.

    “Before the government deploys these technologies further, they must be scrutinized and the American public needs to be given a chance to weigh in.”

    Issues related to federal agency use of facial recognition are likely to be further examined in hearings by the House Oversight Committee, if not the Homeland Security Committee, and lawmakers meanwhile have been calling for new legislation to limit or regulate the technology’s use.
    “The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave.”

  7. #6
    FBI and TSA Legal Footing Criticized at House Committee Facial Recognition Hearings

    U.S. lawmakers criticized the FBI’s failure to implement five of the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO’s) recommendations and expressed concern with the method the FBI used to gather images from states for its facial recognition database in hearings Tuesday.

    Government agencies take their turn at The House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s reconvened facial recognition hearings, with testimony from both the FBI and GAO, and well as the TSA and NIST.

    FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Information Services Deputy Assistant Director Kimberly Del Greco told the committee that facial recognition greatly enhances law enforcement capabilities and helps protect public safety.

    “It is crucial that authorized members of law enforcement and national security communities have access to today’s biometric technologies to investigate, identify, apprehend, and prosecute terrorists and criminals,” Del Greco testified. The FBI’s NGI-IPS system has been used for 152,500 facial recognition searches by the agency or state or local law enforcement.

    Multiple members of Congress took issue with the FBI not following recommendations the GAO made in 2016, including an investigation into why privacy impact assessments and SORNs are not being published as required, and accuracy assessments. Del Greco testified that the FBI has made progress on the recommendations, particularly with regard to validating accuracy.

    GAO Homeland Security and Justice Division Director Dr. Gretta Goodwin told the committee that the FBI and DOJ have not carried out the necessary steps to ensure the technology’s accuracy, nor its respect for civil liberties. The GAO also issued a new report on the system, noting that the FBI now has access to 641 million images, including 21 state databases, many or most of whom have not been arrested or charged with a crime.

    Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA) referred to those images as a “precrime database,” invoking Philip K. Dick’s dystopian Minority Report. “The laws that you’re relying on were passed before facial recognition became popular,” said Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) told the FBI. “That’s a problem.”

    Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) Assistant Administrator of Requirements and Capabilities Analysis Austin Gould spoke about the use of facial recognition in airports for flight check-in and bag drop processes. Some members of Congress criticized the opt-put basis of the trials, saying they should be opt-in. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) called for the program to be paused while statutory authority is clarified.

    The Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act, which was introduced in the senate this year, would require informed consent from an individuals to use their photos.

    Committee Chair Elijah Cummings (D-MA) said the agencies will be called back in two months to see if any progress has been made towards following recommendations.

    At the first hearing, there was broad bi-partisan consensus among lawmakers that the current legal framework for facial recognition does not sufficiently protect civil liberties. That assessment was reaffirmed several times during the second day of hearings.

    “American citizens are being placed in jeopardy as a result of a system that is not ready for prime time,” said Cummings.
    In an opinion piece for The Hill, Project on Government Oversight’s Senior Counsel for The Constitution Project, Jake Laperruque says that Congress is ready to act on regulating facial recognition.

    “(B)road consensus is emerging on necessary safeguards,” he writes. “There are viable solutions, including requiring police to obtain a warrant to use the technology, limiting its use to serious crimes, mandatory human review of matches and independent testing and accuracy standards.
    “The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave.”

  8. #7
    Airport Biometrics Adoption Itinerary Explored By Diverse Stakeholders


    In the U.S., however, CBP has already engaged a broad group of stakeholders to build the public-private partnerships behind the growing number of Biometric Exit trials, which have nearly doubled from nine airports in late 2017 to 17 by mid-2019. CBP had hoped to process the majority of international flights departing the country’s top 20 airports by early 2018, but it has already caught more than 20 imposters, Hutchinson notes, and the program seems likely to cross that threshold in the coming months.

    The trials, while controversial in some corners, have helped encourage a growing trend of acceptance and adoption of facial recognition, Hutchinson says, which is now combined with a greater understanding of biometric technology’s value among aviation industry players. Stein also says government agency participation in the funding of trials and other processes is making adoption easier for airlines and airports.

    “Because they’re eager to get adoption and collaboration with the airports and the airlines, they’re working very actively across the stakeholders including IATA, ACI (Airports Council International), ourselves, and each of the early adopter carriers to show how the technology they’re providing can add benefit both from a customer experience perspective, and an operational efficiencies, while helping CBP meet its mandate,” Stein points out.

    Vision-Box Director of Business Solutions Aaron Beeson says the push for biometric security checks is having a significant impact on other areas of the traveler journey.

    “Where we see some of the progress being made is in different approaches for a single stream across that curb-to-gate journey, or there are more sets of deployments on a particular touchpoint to really enhance that experience. That’s where we’re seeing Biometric Exit help in the U.S.”

    Vision-Box began working on curb-to-gate biometrics and automation with the Aruba Happy Flow program that went fully live in 2015. Delta has partnered with NEC for curb-to-gate biometrics in Atlanta, and a number of other major hubs, including in Shanghai Hangqiao and Heathrow, have recently launched deployments or plan to soon.

    Who wants it enough to pay?

    If the aviation industry is becoming convinced of the value of biometrics, further trials and deployments should provide further evidence in their favor. Most of the public appears to be ready for the technology, as a survey from early 2018 shows 84 percent of travelers would use biometrics for security checks, while more than six out of ten are hoping for wider and faster deployment of the technology for several processes.

    Industry bodies like IATA and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) have been attempting to harmonize stakeholder efforts to make the rollout as fast, as wide, and as smooth as possible.

    Face was decided on as the primary biometric by governments decided at the ICAO level, with fingerprint or iris biometrics as a secondary identifier, Canu notes, with ISO providing standards for each. ICAO doc 9303 specifications for ePassports make them interoperable with different facial recognition systems.

    “We can expect that the passport will facilitate the travel of passengers for the coming years and that the choice of biometrics may not evolve,” Canu warns. “Nonetheless IATA works with ICAO to produce the specifications for States to issue digital identities (digital passports) which will provide Governments with ‘advance Passports’ thereby facilitating border control checks.”

    The capacity crunch will motivate airports to leverage such capabilities, says Chris Gilliland, director of Vancouver International Airport’s (YVR’s) Innovative Travel Solutions (ITS), particularly as physical expansion is often not an option airport operators have.

    “It’s about capacity, it’s about being competitive,” he says. “For airports, expanding out facilities is a really expensive endeavor. A lot of airports are on protected lands, and we really have limited space to expand to.”

    ITS began developing biometric solutions to meet its own capacity needs, and now supplies kiosks to 44 airports around the world. It developed the technology to meet its own needs, and has roughly doubled passenger throughput without expanding since opening its international terminal in 1996. Gilliland also sees ROI opportunities for airport operators from increased retail and commercial value, as decreasing lineups both reduces the physical space needed, and increases the amount of leisure time travelers have. This presents the possibility of both capex and opex benefits for end-to-end biometric deployment.

    With governments, airlines, and airports all collaborating on and benefiting from biometric systems, different deployments have followed different funding models, and Stein says the issue is still largely unresolved.

    “In the U.S. and in a lot of markets the big question is who’s paying,” Stein acknowledges. “I think the way it’s going to likely unfold is there is going to be some sort of cost-sharing model.”

    The business case for a full deployment of biometric CBP checks was judged by the Greater Orlando Airport Authority to be worth a $4 million investment. Orlando is now positioned to expand its implementation and potentially establish a reputation as a leader in easy, convenient travel.

    Working out the different operational roles played by CBP and biometrics providers to protect traveler’s data has meant forging new data management and sharing practices between partners, to ensure both secure and appropriate treatment of sensitive personal information, and efficient service delivery, according to Beeson.

    “That’s been a really interesting case study to be able to see how government as the original owners of the citizen registry, can be able to actually provide a function back to the industry that can help to optimize what the process can be, while also maintaining that citizen data with the citizen themselves, or with the government.”

    This kind of partnership will have to be extended for more ambitious programs like One ID to deliver the promised biometric overhaul of the common airport experience of documents and lineups. In the U.S., baggage checks are the domain of the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), which is also considering the value of biometric checks.

    “Keep an eye on TSA, and think about what they’re doing because they’re going to be one of the next government agencies at DHS to really push the envelope,” Hutchinson advises. For TSA to adopt a process interoperable with CBP’s Biometric Entry/Exit also implies setting a standard for integration of different touchpoints. “Once you get CBP and TSA rowing in the same direction, then you’ve truly got that seamless experience.”

    “The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave.”

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