Britain’s biometrics industry is booming, as businesses turn to fingerprints and other modalities to enable secure access to private corporate applications and documents from home, according to a report by The Telegraph.
Veridium CEO James Stickland told The Telegraph that “The industry has been gaining momentum over the last year but Covid-19 has added petrol to the fire because we’ve enabled a global workforce to log on safely remotely.”
He says biometric authentication has gone from a nice thing for enterprises to have to a necessity within the last 30 days, and that people are increasingly ready to use the technology to meet safety and compliance needs. Veridium customer engagement has spiked by 500 percent since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.
Onfido’s Hussayn Kassai also tells the publication that his company is getting larger contracts, and is now able to grow its team to meet higher demand because of its recent $100 million funding round. The company has already passed its targets for 2020, according to the report.
Cybersecurity industry stakeholders have seen companies speed up investments planned for 2021, and banks have fast-tracked biometrics pilots. The article notes that governments have likewise deployed biometrics in their response efforts, for remote visa applications as well as tracking the spread of COVID-19.
Illia Siatitsa of Privacy International is monitoring the adoption of biometric technology during the crisis, and notes the difficulty of ensuring sufficient oversight for it.
Biometrics and illness detection deployed for Abu Dhabi police, Etihad Airlines
Specialist police teams in Abu Dhabi equipped with smart helmets featuring fever detection, biometric facial recognition, vehicle license plate recognition, and night vision will monitor individuals and crowds from a safe distance, the Emirates News Agency reports.
The country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Lt. General H.H. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan approved the helmets, which were presented by the Ministry’s Council for Innovation Chairman Major General Sheikh Mohammed bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan. The technology reads temperature from five meters away, transmits data to central operations, and works in different environmental conditions, according to the announcement.
Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airlines is also deploying biometric kiosks from Elenium Automation to screen body temperature, heart rate and respiration to detect illness, according to Robb Report.
The units will be tested at check-in, baggage drop, security, and immigration checkpoints. Passengers with illness symptoms detected will be contacted via the kiosks, and staff will be alerted.
Irish food producer deploys facial recognition for time and attendance
Facial recognition is also part of the “military operation” Irish produce grower, packer and distributor Meade Potatoes is using to keep its 315 full-time employees safe while working. The Irish Examiner writes that the biometric technology has been implemented to replace the legacy time and attendance system.
“We are going live with facial recognition this week so that staff don’t have to manually sign in,” says Meade Potatoes Director Eleanor Meade. “We had a relatively new and efficient handprint sign-in but we felt it only right to invest in a facial recognition system to eliminate all risk of clocking in and out.”
Electronic document signing, new clear barriers, and other measures have also been introduced by the company, as it deals with work conditions that are only going to become more common over the proceeding weeks.