European Parliament Rejects FRT Amendment, Approves AI Act
The European Parliament has overwhelmingly approved the AI Act in a plenary vote, with lawmakers rejecting a last-minute amendment that would have allowed the use of real-time biometric identification by law enforcement authorities in extreme circumstances such as preventing terrorist attacks. Still, divisions within parliament over the issue may yet lead to such carveouts; this being the European Union, further negotiations lie ahead, with the AI Act now proceeding to a “trilogue” stage in which final details are hammered out between the Members of European Parliament, the EU Council of Ministers, and the European Commission.
China’s Facial Recognition Thwarts North Korean Defection
China’s extensive use of facial recognition technology has helped to bring about a sharp drop in cases of North Korean defection, according to Hanna Song, the director of the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights. Speaking to the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Song said that facial recognition is being used by Chinese authorities to monitor human trafficking within its borders. One consequence of this is the repatriation of individuals attempting to escape the dictatorship of its ally, North Korea.
FEMA Mulls Biometric Tech for New Fire Reporting System
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s U.S. Fire Administration is preparing for a multi-year upgrade to its fire incident reporting system that may see the incorporation of biometric technologies. The plan is to replace the existing National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) with a new National Emergency Response Information System (NERIS) and to launch a new app for firefighters. And according to a report from FedScoop, administrators are considering the implementation of biometric capabilities that will let firefighters and volunteers share physiological data collected from devices such as smart watches.
Indian City Police Chief Gives Clearview Price Tag
The Police Chief of Evansville, Indiana, has revealed what the city of roughly 120,000 is paying for its use of Clearview AI’s controversial facial recognition system. Speaking to local outlet 14 News, Police Chief Billy Bolin said a three-year contract costs $15,995, with the city’s contract to expire in 2024. Bolin expressed enthusiasm for the service, which lets police look for biometric matches of criminal suspects using facial recognition, even as he summarized the web-crawling technology that has provoked outrage among privacy advocates. “Anything in the public domain is where they’re pulling these images from,” he explained. “Social media, Facebook, Instagram, things like that. You’re putting it out there and it’s not private.”
FPC Joins World Economic Forum Mid-size Business Group
Fingerprint Cards has joined the World Economic Forum’s New Champions Community, an organization whose mandate is to promote the growth of “mission-driven” mid-size companies. FPC says it is the first biometrics company to join the program. “By joining this Community, we look forward to brainstorming and exchanging ideas with peers, and bring our expertise of the biometrics industry,” said Fingerprint Cards’ SVP of Strategy, Charles Burgeat. The World Economic Forum has shown support for the use of biometrics and digital identity technologies in national ID programs in recent years.
Precise CEO Defends Rights Issuance Strategy
Having now led Precise Biometrics as CEO for over a year, Patrick Höijer has issued a statement focused on the company’s recent rights issue, which he acknowledged as one of a set of management decisions that “were not always popular, at least in the short term.” But Höijer says that most analysts expect the mobile phone market to recover from its pandemic-driven dip in the second half of this year, and the rights issue has raised a little over SEK 40 million to help fuel the company toward that recovery. Höijer also highlighted the recent appointment of Joakim Nydemark, the former COO and CEO of Crunchfish Gesture Interaction AB, as Precise Biometrics’ new Vice President & CCO of Algo.
Thales Tech Featured in New Concept Car
Sophisticated technologies developed by Thales are being used in a new concept car from Software République, a multi-party consortium committed to the development of Europe-made technologies for “sustainable, sovereign and safe mobility,” according to a statement. The H1st Vision concept car, unveiled at the VivaTech event in Paris, uses gait and facial recognition to identify the driver upon their approach to the vehicle, and also features a “Digital ID Wallet” that is integrated into the car itself. Thales says the concept car was developed in just six months. Other members of Software République include Atos, Dassault Systèmes, Orange, Renault Group, and STMicroelectronics.
CyberLink’s FaceMe Integrated Into Axis Cameras
CyberLink’s FaceMe facial recognition software has now been integrated into the Axis Camera Application Platform (ACAP) on Axis ARTPEC-8 cameras. The integration comes after CyberLink’s announcement last year of FaceMe’s compatibility with Axis Communications’ video management software, AXIS Camera Station VMS. “AI facial recognition requires a great deal of computing power, and leveraging Axis’ open application platform to add these functions at the edge means an enhanced experience for our customers,” commented CyberLink CEO Jau Huang.