Thursday, August 20, 2015

Windows Hello face recognition not fooled by Australian twins

Microsoft's facial recognition software does something amazing when it encounters twins (Business Insider)
Each set of twins set up an account for one and then the other attempted to log-in — and the software held. According to The Australian, there was not one instance of Windows Hello allowing the wrong twin access to the computer.
The headline to the contrary, notwithstanding, Microsoft's facial recognition software pretty much does nothing when it encounters a legitimate user's identical twin.

MasterCard announces two biometrics pilots

MasterCard puts faces and fingers under microscope (Mobile World Live)
MasterCard and First Tech Federal Credit Union, a US financial institution, will pilot the authentication of payments using facial and fingerprint recognition, in what they claim is a first for the country.

Separately, MasterCard is running another biometrics trial with International Card Services (ICS), the leading credit card provider in the Netherlands.

Biometric ID at issue in California Uber fight

Uber driver background checks 'not good enough' (BBC)
At a press conference, George Gascon, district attorney in San Francisco, said problems with the data that Uber relied on to check drivers meant it could miss some former criminals. For instance, he said, 30,000 registered sex offenders were not in the database Uber used.

An alternative screening system used by other cab firms called Livescan did catch people who were on the sex offenders list, said Mr Gascon.

ID overhaul exposes ghost pensioners in Trinidad & Tobago

4,000 fraudsters lose benefits (Entorno Inteligente)
The Biometric Card will technologically exceed its predecessor, the Debit Smartcard, said Newallo-Hosein, and will translate biological information into digital recognition.

As a result the social safety net will become tight yet more efficient than at present.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Market forecast for fingerprint access control systems

Fingerprint access control systems: Market analysis by technology and market segment; forecasts to 2022 (Grand View Research)
The industry can be segment based on application as commercial, consumer electronics, military & defense, government, healthcare, banking & finance, and others. Government and commercial is anticipated to be key application segment over the forecast period.

Commercial fingerprint access control systems market is expected to be dominant over the next seven years, and accounted for over 30% of the overall revenue in 2014. Government application segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 6.5% from 2015 to 2022.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Market forecast for healthcare biometrics

Biometrics in the Healthcare Industry (Tractica)
...[S]tarting from a base of $250 million in 2015, Tractica forecasts that global healthcare biometrics revenue will reach $3.5 billion by 2024, with cumulative revenue for the 10-year period totaling $12.5 billion at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34%.

Monday, August 17, 2015

You know better but I know him

If we go to biometric IDs, will hackers try to steal your face? (CreditCards.com)
How much damage could a data thief do with your biometrics? According to experts from three different biometric modalities, the threat of someone virtually slipping into your skin is based far more on Hollywood-fueled paranoia than how biometrics are actually secured and deployed in the real world.
An analysis of iris, vein and heartbeat biometrics follows from there.

The piece also serves as a useful counterpoint to this one at InfoWorld which has biometric authentication technology as "Doomed security technology No. 1," where the author's formulation,
"After all, using your face, fingerprint, DNA, or some other biometric marker seems like the perfect log-on credential -- to someone who doesn't specialize in log-on authentication."
begs the retort: After all, using your face, fingerprint, DNA, or some other biometric marker seems like it is destined for history's dustbin -- to someone who doesn't specialize in biometric authentication.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Microsoft and Synaptics working on fingerprint hardware

Synaptics TouchPads to work with Windows Hello (WinBeta)
The new TouchPads would be able to read your fingerprint to enable Windows 10’s new biometric login feature Windows Hello, which aims to eliminate the use of passwords by replacing them with either fingerprints, facial recognition, or iris scanning.
Morphing the touch pad mouse sensor hardware into a fingerprint reader would be pretty cool. Getting the ID transactions right, though, will be a pretty heavy lift, technically, depending on the use model.

More baseball stadium biometrics...

Yankees announce improved security and entrance measures for fans (Crain's) — Yankee Stadium visitors soon will be able to avoid long security lines by registering their fingerprints with a biometric identity service used at 12 U.S. airports.

In another deployment the St. Louis Cardinals (baseball's second-most successful franchise in history) have installed iris biometrics for player and staff access control in more secure locations.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Kudos to Morpho

MorphoTrak Leads With Face Comparison Training (Financial Content)
MorphoTrak, a U.S. subsidiary of Morpho (Safran), announced today that it will offer vendor-independent training* in face comparison, filling an acknowledged gap in the field of computer-aided face recognition and facial identification. Automated face recognition systems are common in both law enforcement and civil applications, yet facial matching software can only present the reviewer with potential matches. It is up to the human reviewer to decide whether two facial images belong to the same individual.


*“Vendor-independent training” means that the techniques the course will teach work for all face examiners, no matter what face recognition software they are using.
Kudos to Morpho. Facial recognition is a powerful tool for well-trained users. This challenge is well known among those who have worked to place facial recognition capabilities into the hands of law enforcement and security professionals.

Computers don't look at the world the way we do. Whether that's a good thing or not depends on what you're trying to accomplish. For facial recognition in a law enforcement context, it's a good thing to have a radically different point of view applied to a challenge.

First, faces are probably the most meaningful objects in human existence. It's not too much of an exaggeration to say that for millennia human survival has depended upon our abilities at one type of facial recognition: recognizing people you know. Sorting through hundreds of thousands of pictures of people we don't know in order to match the two that are of the same person, however is not something we're inherently good at.

Computers can do that in less than a second, then give the two pictures to a human which is very good at making the single comparison — if that person understands their role in the machine-human partnership well.

Training is the key.

Microsoft, privacy and biometrics

Microsoft moves to quell Windows 10 privacy fears (Daily Nation)
According to the company's privacy statement, some of the information collected include "your typed and handwritten words", emails, conversations users have with the digital assistant, Cortana, location data and selections, such as stocks a user follows in a finance app, or the team a user supports in a sports app. Articles detailing privacy concerns have appeared in The Guardian, Newsweek and the Financial Times.

In the statement supplied Monday, the company says Microsoft does not sell the information customers provide it, but makes it available to employees and third-party engineers to improve Microsoft services.

Users can choose the level of information they send to it and selectively remove the information that Cortana, the digital assistant, tracks, while no biometric data from Windows Hello is shared with third parties, the company said.
It looks like the attention Microsoft is getting for privacy concerns surrounding Windows 10 is mostly to do with default settings. It also appears that Microsoft treats biometric information differently by default, not sharing it even with trusted third-party developers.

Two of the issues, surrounding Wifi Sence and how Windows Update Delivery Optimization (WUDO), are covered very well by The Hacker News which provides simple instructions for how to address them by changing default settings.

Reading through both of the Hacker News pieces, a picture of Windows 10 emerges that shows Microsoft giving serious thought to how make connectivity simpler with Wifi Sense while making the Windows ecosystem more resilient to the security threats already out there and those that easier connectivity implies with WUDO.

Friday, July 31, 2015

US: San Jose airport/Alaska Airlines test program for fingerprint boarding

Alaska Airlines: Fingerprints replace boarding passes (Desert Sun)
Those who signed up for the test went through an enrollment process that took about 20 minutes. After that, they were permitted to use their fingerprints to access the TSA screening area through the CLEAR lane. Fingerprint readers at the boarding gates were able to pull up a passenger’s boarding pass for the gate agent to review.

“The feedback was very positive,” said Tolzman. “On a survey scale of ‘dissatisfied’ to ‘delighted’ over 85 percent of the participants were delighted with the system.”
With the Colorado Rockies stadium access, that's news of two innovative CLEAR deployments in two days.