Facial recognition on the way to the Panopticon

Facial recognition is not only one of the fastest growing industries of our time but also the most pervasive. Along with it, raise all the usual concerns coming from an innovative technology: Is it legal? Is it ethical? Is it actually good for us? Is it a creation of the devil? These concerns have arisen from different parts of the society: not only people and privacy defense organizations, but also big tech companies and even governments themselves. In the Panopticon, a building concept developed by the English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century, a single watchman was able to have a permanent view of all residents (or inmates). More important, the reside

Are biometric cards becoming mainstream?

The payment industry has continuously been looking at increasing security measures for transactions. At the same time, as biometrics are irrupting in every aspect of our lives, the cost of biometric sensors have been shrinking. Thanks to those two evolutions, some smart minds started to add fingerprint sensors into banking cards, in order to provide strong authentication. Now, after some time, this technology is on its way to becoming mainstream. Adding a fingerprint sensor in the card brings not only additional security compared to a PIN, but also greater convenience. Already, in the UK, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) are launching a pilot with Gemalto, Mastercard and Visa, that c

NY MetroCard is gone, here comes OMNY!

The times when mass transit operators could set up their own proprietary independent fare system are soon to be over. Now, mass transit is evolving towards open-sourcing, dematerializing and multiplying fare media, leading to opportunities for new entrants. OMNY is coming New York is one of the last major city mass-transit network still using magstripe cards for users to pay for their journeys. This is soon to be a thing of the past as the MTA (New York Metropolitan Transit Authority) has announced plans to replace this outdated technology by contactless payments. However, given the network size and its complexity, the phase out of MetroCard will last until 2023. OMNY, which stands for “One

Thales Gemalto: a High Sensitivity Matter (HSM)

On February 22, Thales announced it had sold its General Purpose Hardware Security Module (GP HSM) business to Entrust Datacard. This activity, the nShield range, was operated as a separate stand-alone business within Thales since January 2019 under the brand “nCipher Security.” As of now, Thales and Entrust Datacard have signed a definitive agreement and they expect to complete the transaction in Q2/2019, subject to the completion of the acquisition of Gemalto by Thales and approval by various competition authorities. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed. Thales HSM activity has been offered for sale for a few months, under pressure from competition authorities, whic

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