United States may introduce DNA as part of security clearance background check

Feds mull DNA testing for security clearances (Politico)
The Federal Register explains the motive for the potential inclusion of DNA checks here [pdf]:

Given the increasing use of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) as an investigatory tool by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, the DoD should consider requiring applicants to provide a DNA sample. That provided DNA sample would be profiled and compared to available databases. This would help insure that no applicant for a clearance is a subject of an active federal, state, or local criminal investigation based on DNA evidence.

Indian Supreme Court issues two-pronged UID decision

It’s been a while since we’ve dealt with the topic of India’s UID project here. This post picks up with current events. Newer readers can catch up by sifting back through the India label (also located in the post footer).

Nandan Nilekani: Supreme Court decision on Aadhaar vindicates our stand Nandan Nilekani (Economic Times)

Earlier this month, UIDAI approached the Apex Court, challenging a Bombay High Court order which had ordered the Agency to share biometric data to help solve an ongoing criminal investigation.

But it’s hard to see how this part of the Supreme Court decision isn’t a set-back.

SC: Withdraw Orders Making Aadhaar Must for any Service (Indian Express)

In a clear direction that a person’s information is private and cannot be misused, the Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to withdraw immediately the instruction, if any, issued by it for making Aadhaar card mandatory for citizens to avail of government services…

If UID is going to bring the power of biometrics to radically curtail the use of ghost recipients of direct transfers, making it mandatory could certainly help. Then again, there are other incentives that can be brought to bear. Most people would rather get a subsidy for propane directly deposited into a bank account rather than wait in line at a government store.

Also, putting a legal wall between the welfare system and criminal justice system should increase participation.

Biometric Australian Parole Officers?

In 2014, Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) will be deploying the Argus’ Biometric Offender Reporting Information System (B.O.R.I.S) across all community monitoring offices and selected Police stations. (Biometrics Institute)

See also: Biometric British Parole Officers?

Neither deployment replaces human judgement of how to deal with criminal justice issues, rather they attempt to reduce the bureaucratic burdens on professional staff of ID verification.

KENYA: The biometric election flop was bureaucratic, not technological as this article would have you believe. You didn’t need a fortune-teller to see it coming, either. We covered the whole sad story here.

Trusted digital identities and secure eServices to deliver 50bn in cost savings by 2020 (Secure Identity Alliance)

Saudi Arabia seeks to become GCC biometrics hub (Arab News)

Mobile biometrics market forecast: 156.9 percent compound annual growth rate through 2018 (FierceMobileIT)

Biometrics uncover ghost refugees (Townhall) — “At camps in Burkina Faso, the initial registration completed in May 2012 suggested that 107,000 Malians had fled an offensive that year by Islamist rebels and their Tuareg separatist allies. However, this month’s final registration phase, including finger printing and biometric operations like iris scans, came up with only 34,000, according to UNHCR data.”

Reducing fraud like this increases confidence among donors that their efforts are worthwhile.

Educating the supply side and the demand side of voter fraud in the Solomon Islands (Solomon Star News) — What gets through enrollment will most likely get caught in de-duplication.

Going up? The overall smart elevators market is expected to reach $16.45 billion by 2018 — It’s about time elevators got biometrified.

Security has layers. Top Security Techniques That Work For The Masters (Blog Her) — “Every layer of protection the bank adds is designed to make it harder for a criminal to ge paid. Consider a layered approach for your small-business security plan.”

A promising data point for the durability of facial recognition biometrics

Facial recognition helped the US Marshals Service to identify a military fugitive who escaped federal prison in 1977 (Fox News)

As far as biometric modalities go, the durability of facial recognition has been the easiest to test. Scientists have had access photos of known individuals taken over long periods of time stretching back to the days of Abraham Lincoln.

Still, this real world example illustrates that facial recognition biometrics are useful even over very long time periods even without frequent database updates.

Secure Identity & Biometrics Association weighs in in Florida bill

Florida schools would benefit with biometric ID (Orlando Sentinel)

The Florida Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee’s 5-1 vote last month to ban biometrics in all schools lacks common sense and denies schools the opportunity to improve safety, standards and fiscal accountability. What is so unfortunate about the Senate vote is that it is based on misunderstood science and two districts out of 67 counties that failed to follow simple program protocols, now threatening to deny sensible biometric program implementation in places like Miami-Dade.

As we’ve said before, if schools can’t be trusted with sensitive information, biometrics aren’t the biggest cause for concern.

‘Cause it’s Friday… [Update: Hoax alert]

The LIVR Hoax: Everybody’s Favorite New Drunkbro App Is Fake (Gizmodo)

April Fool’s Day keeps getting earlier and earlier.

What if your social network would ONLY let you post when drunk? (Irish Independent)

Thanks to the help of a mini-breathalyser that plugs in to your smartphone, Livr (it rhymes with ‘river’, yes, like the organ) will only be accessible if users’ blood alcohol content scores above a certain, as-yet-undetermined level.

Once users have made their way past this “biometric bouncer” they’ll get access to a number of features designed especially for those who have had – in the words of founders Kyle Addison and Avery Platz – “a couple of drinks.”

This is both fun and horrifying, but I can see how it might be socially beneficial.

Boss: I saw your off-color comments about the management culture around here.
Staffer: Oh, that doesn’t really count, it was on Livr.
Boss: OK, then.

But just to set the record straight blood alcohol level, except in a few very rare circumstances, isn’t really a biometric in the way we frequently use the term.

See: Biometrics vs. Biostatistics.

Short version:
Biometrics for identity management concern facts about the physical human body that don’t change (or don’t change much) over time.
Biostatistics, on the other hand, are useful precisely because they change, sometimes radically over short or long time-frames.

UID enrollment continues apace

Little signs of let-up in rush for unique Aadhaar ID (The Hindu)

Over a month after the Centre put on hold its ambitious scheme of transferring cooking gas subsidy to the bank account of the household, something for which it had made Aadhaar number a pre-requisite, there are little signs of any let-up in the rush in the State for getting the unique identity number.

“People continue to come [to get Aadhaar] like before,” says M.R.V.Krishna Rao, Joint Director of Census Operations & Controlling Officer, Directorate of Census Operations here.