Articles about biometrics

Facebook faces foe formation in facial fingering fight

A US federal judge on Monday ruled that a lawsuit filed over Facebook's use of facial recognition technology can proceed as a class action, raising the possibility the social network could face billions in damages. The sueball was filed in May 2015 under Illinois' 2008 Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by three …
Thomas Claburn, 18 Apr 2018
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It would totally help, EU told, if data we held on migrants was accurate

The European Union has been warned to sort out data quality in its IT systems that manage asylum and migration, and improve efforts to ensure people know how to exercise their personal data rights. In a report on the collection, storage and use of biometric data in asylum and migration IT systems, the EU Agency for Fundamental …
Rebecca Hill, 29 Mar 2018
police in body armour doing a raid

UK peers: Is this what you call governance of facial recog tech? A 'few scattered papers'!

British cops’ use of automated facial recognition technology has come under fire from peers, with the Greens’ Jenny Jones calling on the government for an immediate ban. Speaking in a House of Lords debate, Jones said that there were “very real concerns” about the use of the technology, asserting that the UK was “moving into …
Rebecca Hill, 3 Mar 2018
Game of Thrones

UK Home Office grilled over biometrics, being clingy with folks' mugshots

Brit Home Office bods have denied that retaining millions of custody images of people who were never charged falls foul of case law, while asserting that automatic deletion is not technically possible. In an intense evidence session with MPs this morning, Home Office minister Susan Williams and the department's director of …
Rebecca Hill, 6 Feb 2018
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South Wales cops crow about facial recognition arrests on social media

South Wales Police deployed facial recognition technology in Cardiff this weekend, making multiple arrests using the controversial kit. The force has been using an automated facial recognition (AFR) system since June last year, when it launched a pilot during the Champions League finals week. In December, the police boasted …
Rebecca Hill, 5 Feb 2018
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Indian data leak looks to have been an inside job

The government authority in charge of India's billion-records-and-counting Aadhaar biometric identity database, the Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI), has suspended 5,000 officials from accessing the system. As we reported yesterday, a journalist for the country's Tribune newspaper wrote of her ability to access …
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What's taking so long? UK.gov pressed over continued delays to biometrics strategy

The UK government has been told to get its act together and explain why its biometrics strategy still hasn't seen the light of day. The Home Office has been promising a biometrics strategy since 2012, but it has been repeatedly delayed. The latest push-back was revealed earlier this month, when minister Baroness Susan …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Dec 2017

UK.gov delays biometrics strategy again – but cops will still use the tech

The Home Office has admitted the UK’s biometrics strategy won't be published until next year, as MPs slam an "unacceptable" delay of more than five years. The Home Office has repeatedly put off publishing the strategy it promised in 2012, and has come under fire from MPs, policymakers, civil rights groups, the biometrics …
Rebecca Hill, 14 Dec 2017
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Q: Why are you running in the office? A: This is my password for El Reg

A trio of Indian boffins have studied the use of smartphone accelerometers as biometric sensors and concluded they could be a handy way to identify users. Unlike the collaboration between American and Hong Kong researchers who want “who are you?” for ad-tracking, the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka boffins' …

Boffins take biometric logins to heart, literally: Cardiac radar IDs users to unlock their PCs

The next form of biometric identification may be a heart scan. A group of computer scientists have proposed a system called Cardiac Scan, which uses a cheap and cheerful Doppler radar to wirelessly map out the dimensions of your beating heart. They say your old ticker's shape and pulsations are unique, and therefore useful for …
Katyanna Quach, 26 Sep 2017

UK govt steams ahead with £5m facial recog system amid furore over innocents' mugshots

The UK Home Office has put out to tender a £4.6m ($5.9m) contract for facial recognition software – despite the fact its biometrics strategy and retention systems remain embroiled in controversy. According to the tender announcement, a company is sought to provide "a combination of biometric algorithm software and associated …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Aug 2017

Did eye just do that? Microsoft brings gaze tracking to Windows 10

Goodbye, keyboard. Goodbye, mouse. To use Windows, soon all you'll need is your vision. In addition to native eye-tracking support, Windows 10 will eventually offer users the option to control the mouse, keyboard and text-to-speech with only their eyes and a camera, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced last week at Redmond's …
Andrew Silver, 2 Aug 2017
Human iris. Photo by SHutterstock

The eyes have IT: TSB to roll out iris-scanning tech for mobile banking

TSB has announced plans to roll out iris-scanning technology for its mobile banking app from September. The move will make the UK high street bank the first in Europe to debut iris-scanning tech. TSB's iris recognition tech [source: TSB] Biometric authentication for banking, in general, has become commonplace over recent …
John Leyden, 20 Jul 2017
Picture of multi-layered sandwich. Photo by Shutterstock

Biometric data stolen from corporate lunch rooms system

A US payment kiosk vendor has been stung by malware scum. Avanti Markets helps employers monetise the lunch-room and get rid of counter-service, going beyond a simple vending machine to cover the whole sandwiches-fruit-drinks-junk-food with one payment system. Last week, as first spotted by Brian Krebs, the company posted …
Superhero on a mobile phone. pic by shutterstock

Who will save us from voice recog foolery from scumbags? Magnetometer!

Scientists are working on a way of using the internal orientation sensors in smartphones to defend against efforts to trick voice recognition systems. As the use of smartphones, wearables and voice-based assistants is on the rise, so is the risk that criminals will try to use those systems to their advantage by impersonating …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Jun 2017
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India makes biometrics mandatory for all e-gov projects

India's issued three “Guidance Notes” outlining its government's policies for procuring software and entering into alliances and running RFPs. The new Model RFP Templates and Guidance Notes for Implementing Services (PDF), RFP Templates and Guidance Notes for Consulting Services (PDF) and Model and Model RFP Templates and …
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2017
Chaos Computer Club's iris-scan demo

How good are selfies these days? Good enough to fool Samsung Galaxy S8 biometrics

Chaos Computer Club's "Starbug" has taken a look at the Samsung Galaxy S8's iris-scanning authentication feature and found you can beat it with a photograph. The tools the group used aren't even remotely sophisticated: a camera in night mode, a contact lens, and a printer. To fool the sensor, supplied to Samsung by Princeton …
His master's voice

Lyrebird steals your voice to make you say things you didn't – and we hate this future

Hastening the arrival of a world in which simulation is indistinguishable from reality, startup Lyrebird has announced plans to power up an online service that can imitate a person's voice. Given roughly a minute of voice samples from a specific person, the upstart's system can, via an API, convert supplied text into spoken …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Apr 2017

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