Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fighting corruption in East Africa

'Ghost workers': Kenya biometric register launched (Bor Globe)
Kenya has started biometrically registering all civil servants in an attempt to remove "ghost workers" from the government's payroll.

Chinese giants join mobile fingerprint payments fray

Alibaba teams up with Huawei to let Alipay Wallet users pay with just their fingerprint (TNW)
[...]Alibaba has announced a way to make its payments service Alipay even more secure on a smartphone — with the introduction of fingerprinting technology in a deal that it inked with smartphone manufacturer Huawei.

Biometric system mooted to keep bogus beneficiaries at bay (Times of India)
MYSORE: The state commission for persons with disabilities may introduce biometric system to issue ID cards/ certificates for the disabled. The move is expected to curb fake certificates and help maintain a database of disabled persons in the state.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

3-D Printed Bump Keys

It appears a token technology that we've relied on to secure our possessions and domiciles for centuries has been hacked by clever men with 3-D printers and rubber mallets.

These 3-D Printed Skeleton Keys Can Pick High-Security Locks in Seconds (Wired)
One of the hairier unintended consequences of cheap 3-D printing is that any troublemaker can duplicate a key without setting foot in a hardware store. But clever lockpickers like Jos Weyers and Christian Holler already are taking that DIY key-making trick a step further: They can 3-D print a slice of plastic or metal that opens even high-security locks in seconds, without even seeing the original key.

The article at the link also has this very informative gif a showing how a bump key works in a lock.

Source: Wired

According to the logic employed by some critics of biometric technologies, this means locks opened using metal keys are useless now. I, for one, however, will not be contracting with any security guard services today. A fingerprint front door unlocker would be cool, though.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Forecast: Law Enforcement Biometrics market in North America to grow at a CAGR of 18.2 percent during the period 2013-2018 (Reportstack.com)

Biometrics for vaccination records

Scanning babies fingerprints could save lives (Michigan State Univ.)
Each year 2.5 million children die worldwide because they do not receive life-saving vaccinations at the appropriate time.

Anil Jain, Michigan State University professor, is developing a fingerprint-based recognition method to track vaccination schedules for infants and toddlers, which will increase immunization coverage and save lives.
Operation ASHA has been using biometrics for tuberculosis treatment, too.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Biometric voter verification in Brazil

Biometric voting machine to be used by 21.6 million Brazilians (AgĂȘncia Brasil)
Over 20 million voters—15% of the population to take part in the 2014 elections—are estimated to cast their ballot by means of a voting machine with biometric identification, announced the Superior Electoral Court (“TSE”) on Wednesday (Aug 20). The technology can be found in 762 municipalities, among which 15 state capitals. The machines use the electors' fingerprints to recognize their identity.

Australian bank integrating mobile biometrics

Touch on: St George will launch fingerprinting internet banking logon on Apple iPhone 5S in September.St George adds fingerprinting as Australian banks trial biometrics (Sydney Morning Herald)
St George's TouchID will be made available for the iPhone 5S as soon as iOS8 is released, currently expected in September. The service will be available on the Galaxy 5 later in the year.

Saudi biometric market to hit USD1.5b by 2019

MENAFN.com: USD1.5 billion by 2019. This growth and will be mainly controlled by fingerprint biometrics technology, which is already being adopted in the country due to its low cost and ease in its installation and usage.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

That's like, so 2001

MAY, 2013
Boston PD Tested Facial Recognition Software By Recording Every Face At Local Music Festivals (Daily Caller)
Concertgoers at last year’s annual Boston Calling music festivals weren’t just there to watch the show — they were watched themselves as test subjects for Boston police’ new facial recognition technology, which reportedly analyzed every attendee at the May and September two-day events.

Employees at IBM — the outside contractor involved in deploying the tech alongside Boston Police — planned the test of its Smart Surveillance System and Intelligent Video Analytics to execute “face capture” on “every person” at the concerts in 2013.

Welcome to the Snooper Bowl (Time)
In a move that has been both hailed and decried, the Tampa Bay police department used the occasion of Super Bowl XXXV to conduct a high-tech surveillance experiment on its unsuspecting guests. In total secrecy (but with the full cooperation of the National Football League), the faces of each of the games' 72,000 attendees were scanned and checked against a database of potential troublemakers. The news, first reported in the St. Petersburg Times, raises some urgent questions: is this the end of crime--or the end of privacy?

The surveillance system, FaceTrac, is based on technology originally developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to teach computers to recognize their users, and was installed by a Pennsylvania firm called Graphco Technologies.
The technology and key personnel from Graphco were acquired by SecurLinx in 2003.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Biometrics in schools

School Cafeterias Trading Lunch Money For Fingerprint Scans (CBS Chicago, IL)
More and more schools across the country are opting for a pay-by-fingerprint system in the cafeteria to cut down on theft and speed up the lunch line.

FBI captures long-time fugitive using facial recognition

Neil Stammer Captured Poster (Screenshot)

FBI and facial recognition catch a fugitive of 14 years (FBI)
Special Agent Russ Wilson had just been assigned the job of fugitive coordinator in our Albuquerque Division—the person responsible for helping to catch the region’s bank robbers, murderers, sex offenders, and other criminals who had fled rather than face the charges against them.

“In addition to the current fugitives, I had a stack of old cases,” Wilson said, “and Stammer’s stood out.” Working with our Office of Public Affairs, a new wanted poster for Stammer was posted on FBI.gov in hopes of generating tips.

At about the same time, a special agent with the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS)—a branch of the U.S. Department of State whose mission includes protecting U.S. Embassies and maintaining the integrity of U.S. visa and passport travel documents—was testing new facial recognition software designed to uncover passport fraud. On a whim, the agent decided to use the software on FBI wanted posters. When he came upon Stammer’s poster online, a curious thing happened: Stammer’s face matched a person whose passport photo carried a different name.