Selfie biometrics put in place for tax credits, loans, could protect endangered species

Selfie biometrics are used for identity verification by a wide range of applications, from online government services supported by ID.me, to age-restricted goods deliveries supported by Veriff and mortgages through the British MyIdentity scheme. iDenfy is also supporting business and consumer lending, while Yoti outlines another humanitarian identity verification app, and authID is launching a platform update for smoother biometric capture.

Customer and partnership wins

As previously reported by Biometric update, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has begun requiring identity verification with biometrics of selfies of people accessing services on its website.

Starting in summer 2022, access to the IRS Child Tax Credit Update Portal will require identity verification through ID.me.

The update was supported by the Secure Access Digital Identity (SADI) initiative and unveiled in November 2021.

Now that others have noticed, misinformation has begun to proliferate, prompting an IRS spokesperson to clarify to CNBC that the biometric identity verification process is not required to file a tax return.

“The IRS emphasizes that taxpayers can pay or file their taxes without submitting a selfie or other information to a third-party identity verification company,” the agency said in a statement. “Tax payments can be made from a bank account, credit card or other means without using facial recognition technology or opening an account.”

However, many applications and online information services will require an ID.me digital identity.

Veriff has partnered with Starship Technologies to bring biometric authentication and reverification to self-driving delivery services.

The companies say the partnership gives Starship the first fully self-contained, end-to-end delivery service for age-restricted items. When the delivery robot arrives at its delivery destination, the person receiving the delivery receives a notification and then uses Veriff’s biometric authentication to unlock it through the Starship Food delivery app, available on iOS or Android.

Bluestone Mortgages is the latest UK mortgage brokerage to join the My identity program, coordinator Etive Limited announced, as part of a pilot project running from November 2021 to December 2022.

Bluestone is a specialist non-bank lender catering to self-employed, credit-distressed and entrepreneur clients.

The MyIdentity program was piloted at 11 locations across the UK last year to ease the administrative burden associated with property sales.

End users participating in the program use third-party identity verification service providers, based on the DCMS Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework, which is where selfie biometrics comes in.

iDenfy was selected by non-bank lender Placet Group to provide AI-powered, human-supervised identity verification to prevent fraud and meet KYC and AML compliance requirements.

The Placet Group, based in Estonia, provides loans to businesses and individuals.

Digital ID could help conservation efforts

Meanwhile, Yoti, in a blog post, says digital identity is crucial for people who intend to join the Citizen Community Science Network to report on the activities of ground hornbills in Zimbabwe, whose numbers and habitats are increasingly threatened by human activities.

The storyline is described in the third installment of a series of six articles on hypothetical uses of identity verification technology in different Yoti humanitarian and environmental contexts.

The message argues that a digital ID can help identify hornbill monitors as bona fide and trusted individuals, to avoid including people with bad intentions in the research community.

Once the individual has applied to become a hornbill monitor, the conservation group sends a representative to authenticate the applicant’s identity and credentials and takes their picture. Once verified, the applicant is then prompted to join a messaging app group. The registered and biometrically authenticated monitor can then begin keeping a record of ground hornbill activity in their area and then forward it to the conservation group for policy action.

The article adds that other conservation projects such as the South African Bird Atlas Project and the Mabula Ground Hornbill Project have used digital identity to identify citizen scientists in the past.

authID updates platform biometric capture

In this busy market, authID.ai has launched an update to its verified cloud-native facial biometrics platform.

Version 2.4 of Verified improves the biometrics operation of the platform with selfie fetching capability to reduce false rejections with higher quality images, as well as in-browser quality analysis and aspect feedback such as face position, expression, glare and lighting. The update also refreshes the user interface for a better user experience and improves user authentication across multiple devices.

“This latest version of our Verified platform reflects our vision to provide the best in biometric identity authentication to businesses across all industries. The intuitive, low-friction, and convenient verification experience built by our team of experts establishes the highest level of mutual assurance and trust,” comments Jeremiah Mason, SVP of Product of authID.ai. “We are committed to building the best cloud-native security solutions and evolving that cyberinfrastructure to help customers in virtually every market segment combat the risks of password and identity fraud.”

Article topics

authID | biometrics | digital identity | facial biometrics | financial services | government services | humanitarian | iDenfy | identity verification | KYC | MyIdentity | Check | Yeti

Amanda P. Whitten