January 16, 2021

Soon a biometric database of all US citizens

Soon a biometric database of all US citizens?

Two US startups specializing in facial recognition and fingerprint recognition have joined forces to create a database of biometric data for all US citizens. A project that could prove beneficial, but also very dangerous for confidentiality …

The worst nightmare of privacy advocates is about to come true. The startup SureID, specializing in fingerprint recognition, has joined forces with Robbie.AI, another startup specializing in facial recognition.

Together they want to create a database combining the biometric data of all US citizens . A great first.

A priori, this database could have many positive use cases . For example, it could be used to identify customers in a store or employees of a company. Similarly, one can imagine futuristic vehicles that can be unlocked without a key by their owners. In short, this database could be useful for all companies wishing to exploit biometric data.

However, privacy advocates also see it as a threat . Although the intentions of SureID and Robbie.AI are laudable, the very existence of this database represents a potential danger.

The biometric database could be hacked by cybercriminals … or by the government

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Indeed, there is nothing today to say that biometric data will not be stolen by cybercriminals. For example, they could use it for identity theft purposes . A controversy that directly echoes that sparked by the “megafix” of personal data of the French government …

Similarly, the US government could find a way to access and exploit this data to monitor the population . In China, facial recognition is already used by the authorities to recognize an individual in a crowd …

Earlier in 2018, an Indian journalist proved that he could buy administrative access to India’s biometric database for the equivalent of $ 8 . Although this US database may be better secured, zero risk does not exist.

However, paradoxically, the convergence between facial recognition and fingerprint recognition could give rise to new, more reliable security solutions than today . If it is possible to circumvent any of these technologies, it is almost impossible to falsify both his fingerprints and his face. Safety is the leitmotiv of SureID and Robbie.AI.