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ProLinks Biometrics #46

In today’s ProLinks issue you can learn about facial biometrics applied to porn and killer drones, how to unlock any fingerprint protected phone or how to tell, if somebody has used heroin just by looking on their fingerprints. Enjoy!


Scan your face if you want to see this porn

Australia wants to use face recognition for age validation when visiting porn and gambling websites. Britain tried to do something similar (using ID) but it was dropped. This has several issues, accuracy of the age estimation being the least of them.

Biometrics for people with disabilities

Here is a study about usability of biometric systems by people with disabilities. Scanning device positioning seems to be the biggest issue.

Android offering one biometric API

Fingerprints were available in Android API for a long time. New biometric API is aiming to abstract modality, be it fingerprint, iris or face from the authentication itself.

Money20/20 interviews

Money20/20 was taking place in Las Vegas and FindBiometrics has brought a lot of interviews with industry representatives. You can find them here.

Unlocking any fingerprint protected smartphone

Chinese hackers are claiming they can unlock any fingerprint protected phone under 20 minutes. You need however a device worth around 140USD and a photo of the fingerprint.

Suing US government to get info about face recognition

ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is suing several US federal agencies under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) including FBI to get information about how they use facial recognition.

US Military usage of biometrics

Here is report about how US Military has build its own ABIS to identify more than 7 Million people on battlefield since 2004. 

Autonomous killer drones with facial recognition

Another army (Turkish) plans on deploying killer drones that will identify target using facial recognition and execute it. This can be a slippery slope into autonomous killer robots without any human supervision.

INTERPOL wants to share biometric databases

Project Kalkan wants to share biometric databases between countries (Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Georgia, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan) to prevent terrorist movement across borders.

Chinese professor suing theme park for using facial recognition

Professor Guo Bing is taking action against Hangzhou safari park, after it replaced its existing fingerprinting system with the new technology. Previously, cardholders were scanned with a fingerprint but system malfunctions led to long queues during peak season.

Fingerprint can tell if you have used heroin

Experts form University of Surrey have developed technology to detect traces of heroin use from high resolution fingerprint images.


Here is a great talk about failures in computing from Kevlin Henney. Are developers greatest artists?

Documentation the right way

I know how hard it is to do documentation, trainings and guides well and this talk presents framework, that I plan to use to improve this stuff at my company.

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