In recent weeks, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of people and businesses – some not even involved in identity management – proclaiming that “Fingerprint biometrics is dead” and “Give fingerprint scanners the finger.”

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has driven people to believe “contactless” biometrics is the way to go – if you don’t have to touch anything, you won’t risk being contaminated by the virus.

The logic with this line of thinking is, however, fatally flawed.

Do people never touch anything other than fingerprint scanners? What about shopping carts, balustrades, elevator buttons, bathroom taps…?

These days, everyone carries some kind of sanitiser with them, so it’s simply a case of cleaning your hands – and the fingerprint scanner – before and after use.

In Identity Management, the most important process is the onboarding, enrolling or registration. This is where it is absolutely critical to capture a single existing “real-world” human being onto the Identity Management Solution. If this isn’t done correctly, the fallout could be severe.

Believing you can capture an identity simply by capturing an image (selfie) with “liveness detection,” or using Personally Identifiable Information (PII) to create a digital identity on any identity management solution platform is fallible, incomplete and dangerous.

If your organisation’s risk for appetite is zero when it comes to proving the identity of your clients, please stay away from solutions using “selfies” or PII to create a trustworthy digital identity.

The reason is simple:

Crime syndicates have identified these “solutions” as the perfect tools on which to create synthetic identities, and the perfect vehicles with which to infiltrate organisations or institutions to commit crimes – all under a cloak of complete anonymity.

It’s true that contactless verification of an identity does have a place in identity management, but only insofar as where the identity has already been correctly registered onto an identity management system.

The only way to take identity management seriously is to ensure there is physical contact between the individual’s physical fingerprint and the onboarding/enrollment/registration device, such a high-quality fingerprint scanner. This is the only way to prove that a person was physically present at a specific place.

This is the most critical process in every identity management solution. If it’s not done, there is absolutely no proof the captured identity actually belongs to a single existing “real-world” human being.

There are several serious questions regarding “selfie” and “contactless” identity “solutions” which need to be answered now:

  • Can any of these “selfie” or “contactless solutions” prove it was an actual human who registered?
  • Can any of these companies providing a “selfie” or “contactless solution” prove, in a court of law, that a different, actual, single human being is linked to every single digital identity on their solution in a court of law?
  • Can any of these “selfie” or “contactless solution” providers guarantee there isn’t one synthetic identity on their solution?

There should never be any grey areas in identity management – you are always 100% you and 0% someone else.

Identity is firstly a human issue before becoming a digital one.

The Diverse Authentication Library (DAL)

The DAL-Global solution, incorporating the Identity-ATM, is the only system in the world with the capability to create a single digital twin of a single human being with forensic proof.

DAL-Global offers a scalable, cloud-based platform and customisable business processes focused on a Forensic Identity Management Solution. This solution comprises Registration, “Onboarding”, Protection and Authentication of Identities. The DAL-Global infrastructure is built, hosted and managed by DAL as a third-party service provider, and offered as Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS).

Contact us and let us mitigate your risks and manage your identity verification at an optimised level.

About Dawid Jacobs

Dawid Jacobs is a prominent South African Identity Management Specialist. He received intensive training in the South African Police Service (SAPS) as a Fingerprint Expert and Crime Scene Forensic Investigator (CSI).

During his career in the SAPS, he identified, matched and verified hundreds of thousands of crime scene and other fingerprints. On numerous occasions, Dawid testified as an expert in the South African High Court, authenticating the identity of individuals accused of involvement in various crimes.

Dawid also compiled study material on Fingerprint Identification and the Investigation of Crime Scenes for forensic educational institutes. He has also been invited to various conferences, and has been interviewed by published media and on radio and television, to provide professional input on identity theft and how to prevent it.

Dawid was part of the creation of the first Pro-Active Identity Protection and Verification system, which allows for various methods of authentication, including Automated and Physical (Forensic) Fingerprint Identification Systems, a Multi Factor Identity Authentication solution and Blockchain Identity Attestation solution. All these solutions are based on the critical importance of optimised accuracy in the enrolment phase of an identity, using forensic protocol procedures.

The Identity Management Solutions Dawid helped create are designed for the global market. They focus on making every individual economically inclusive, and help to reinstate trust between institutions and their customers.

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dawid-jacobs-61a18b1a/

Dawid Jacobs