They did it

The State of Florida has banned biometrics in schools — biometric systems intended to help schools function better in delivering the services they are tasked with providing.

It’ll be fun to see if someone decides to sue when a school tries to sell yearbooks this year. After all, if using a secure biometric system to help a school lunch line move faster is wrong, how can schools be allowed to sell a facial recognition database of the school’s students?

On a side note, the big annual biometrics conference is in Tampa, Florida again this year.

Never a good headline

We’re Not In Crisis –NHIA (Peace FM)

In January this year, the NHIA introduced the ‘instant issuance’ of health insurance Identification (ID) Card system based on biometric data.

The process began as a roll-out in the Greater Accra region after a pilot of it on the security personnel (Military and police) in two districts of the Region-Ayawaso and La.

Currently, the process has been extended to the Central and Eastern Regions respectively and the Ashanti Region will be the next to join instant issuance of the ID cards regime.

There’s a reason national health services worldwide are scrambling to apply biometric ID management techniques to service delivery. Biometrics deliver bottom-line financial benefit to health care systems in significant ways. Better ID means less fraud, fewer ghost patients and a better audit trail if a provider’s activities warrant investigation. Also, better patient ID leads to better patient outcomes and better records management.

It’s not surprising that countries like Ghana are choosing to leap-frog the 20th century systems other large health care providers use, but it also isn’t surprising that the process is difficult and requires a steady managerial hand.

US Government online fingerprint ID system to be tested in Michigan & Pennsylvania

Government to Test ‘Identity Ecosystem’ in Two States (The Blaze)

The first round of tests are aimed at finding an efficient and secure two-step verification for accessing public programs, like government assistance. The White House believes this ID system will reduce fraud and overhead, by eliminating duplicated ID efforts across multiple agencies.

The Blaze article is quite negative on the whole project but it contains a lot of links to other sources of information. It’s worth a read.

A closer look at the Fast Identity Online Alliance

If you haven’t heard of FIDO yet, you should really click through to the entire article.

Password-free authentication: Figuring out FIDO (Search Security)

Online authentication mechanisms have grown increasingly difficult for IT security teams as employees and customers expect to access online services and e-commerce sites from a myriad of devices. With password fatigue reaching new heights, many security professionals want stronger authentication methods that eliminate the complexities and risks associated with the integration of online credentials and identity management.

By now, most security professionals have heard about the Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance, a non-profit founded in July 2012 and publicly announced in February 2013. The industry group is championing better multifactor authentication and open standards to promote interoperability of next-generation authentication technologies.

More on African leap-frogging with biometrics

Using biometrics to secure African identities (HumanIPO)

African nation states are leaping the technology divide with the rapid deployment of electronic identification systems to register their entire populations. The possession of a bonafide identity document is foundational to the creation of civil society. It enables citizens to exercise fully their rights as members of society: their right to vote in an electoral system that is fraud and error free; provide access to health insurance coverage, apart from other valuable legal documents, and lastly restore the bond of trust between these citizens and their governments.