Monday, January 26, 2015

A discussion of facial recognition in retail stores

Is Facial Recognition The Next Privacy Battleground? (Fast Company)
While much recent retail technology buzz has focused on the promise and peril of Apple's iBeacons, another identity tech has matured: facial recognition. It's now powerful enough to let stores use cameras to link customers' faces to information stored in databases—but it's also finding use in industrial and transportation settings, where it can be used to keep people away from sensitive areas. But are we ready for this tech to start linking personal data with our faces without our knowledge?

Legally, there's nothing stopping American businesses from doing so. A recent BBC article posited the future concern that retail businesses could compare photos taken in-store with databases drawing from data found on the Internet—like databases of social media or Facebook users...
The piece is worth reading in its entirety.

US: New Mexico legislator proposes biometrics for voter ID

Thumbs Up? New Mexico to Study Biometrics to ID Voters (University of Minnesota)
Senate Minority Whip William Payne introduced a proposal this week that calls for the state's top elections officials to study the feasibility of bringing biometrics into the mix. That could mean anything from retinal scans to the thumbprint-imaging technology used to access smartphones.

After hearing the same debate year after year, the Albuquerque Republican said he wanted to find a way to take some of the "venom" out of the argument that requiring photo identification would lead to voter suppression.
I don't like to see so much made of retina biometrics but because this is big enough news, I'm linking it anyway.

That explains things a bit

It's Apple's fault that the Nexus 6 doesn't have a fingerprint sensor (The Verge)
Former Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside has confessed that the dimple at the back of the Nexus 6 was originally intended to play host to a fingerprint sensor. Back in 2011, Motorola was a pioneer in bringing fingerprint recognition to its Atrix 4G smartphone, however the company it used then, Authentec, was purchased by Apple a year later for a price of $356 million. Authentec were, in Woodside's judgment, the best supplier around and "the second best supplier was the only one available to everyone else in the industry and they weren’t there yet."

Monday, January 19, 2015

Samsung to offer "touch-style" mobile fingerprint sensor

Samsung to ape Apple's Touch ID with touch-style fingerprint sensor in 'Galaxy S6' - report (Apple Insider)
Samsung's next flagship smartphone will ship with a Touch ID-like fingerprint sensor in place of the swipe-style sensor that the company employed on the underwhelming Galaxy S5, according to a new report.
Good move. The "swipe readers" can be a bit trickier to use.

Windows 10 pregame

What to expect (and what you won't see) at this week's Windows 10 launch
The Windows 10 technical preview released last fall was aimed squarely at enterprise customers, bringing back the Start menu and allowing sandboxed Windows Store apps to run in windows instead of full screen. This week's update should be much more focused on consumer devices and services.

Here's what I'll be looking for in Redmond on Wednesday...
There is a brief biometric mention, but it's mostly big-picture analysis of Microsoft's consumer offerings.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

USAA adopts mobile biometrics for account verification

In Your Face: USAA Brings Biometric Logon to Mobile Users
“This will make USAA the first U.S. financial institution to offer facial and voice recognition on a mobile app as added protection against fraud and identity theft,” the company announced.

So how does it work? USAA’s facial recognition requires users to look at the screen and, when prompted, blink their eyes. For voice recognition, users must read a short phrase.

Saygus V2 smartphone: Android with a fingerprint reader

First impressions: Saygus V2, the phone with 320GB storage (Times of India)
The right edge of the phone sports all hardware buttons(volume rocker, power and camera shutter) and a fingerprint sensor as well as a 60GHz mobile beaming transmitter.
The fingerprint reader appears to be one of the models where the user slides their finger across the sensor. The linked piece has a lot of photos and a review.

Forecast: Global E-passport and E-visa Market 2015-2019

Global E-passport and E-visa market to grow at a CAGR of 30.17 percent over the period 2014-2019 (Research and Markets)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Forecast: Global biometrics market to see 19.6% CAGR through 2020

Biometrics - A Global Market Overview (Research and Markets)
The global market for Biometrics is slated to post a strong CAGR of 19.6% between 2014 and 2020 to reach a projected US$30.1 billion by 2020 from an estimated US$10.3 billion in 2014. Fingerprint recognition is estimated the largest technology with market worth US$3.2 billion in 2014 while Civil ID is slated to be the largest application with global market of US$4.6 billion in the same year.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Is nothing sacred?

Thieves hack American and United accounts, book free flights (Digital Trends)
Cybercriminals armed with usernames and passwords broke into customer accounts at American and United airlines, with some going so far as to book free flights and seat upgrades.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cybersecurity in Brazil

Guest Post: Brazil’s Cybersecurity Conundrum (Council of Foreign Relations)
Brazil has embraced the digital age with more gusto than most. It is one of the top users of social media and recently signed-off on a bill of rights for the Internet, the Marco Civil. The country is also a leader in the development of online banking with more than 43 percent of web users engaging such services, and can be proud of a thriving software industry, including some world class companies.
Brazil certainly is an interesting case.

India: News from the UID hackathon

Codes fly thick and fast in first Aadhaar Hackathon (Economic Times)
A slew of initiatives, including financial support to Aadhaar-based companies, were announced at country's first hackathon, dedicated to innovating on the Aadhaar platform. The 24-hour marathon coding competition, conducted by incubator Khosla Labs and Nasscom, also announced an appstore dedicated to such applications, to be launched by the end of this month.
Cool!

Better late than never

US customs allocated funding to test biometric exit app (Security Document World)
A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill released on 9 January allocates US$3 million in funding for testing of a biometric exit app that would be used by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The funding will be used for a biometric exit mobile application demonstration at two airports, according to an explanatory note added to the bill.

The idea of implementing an exit system at all US ports of entry was first touted in 1996 as part of the “Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act”.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

More praise for passwords

In defence of the humble password (SC Magazine)

We've expressed similar thoughts here.

Then again, perhaps not

A Hacker Reveals How Your Fingerprint Could Be Easier To Hack Than A Traditional Password (Business Insider) ...In which the article contradicts the headline.

Hacking a fingerprint sensor with a photograph is far from easy.
Cool hardware — YubiKey wants to be like Touch ID for your Internet life (Cult of Mac)