Thursday, August 30, 2018

Kids only ride share company – fingerprint background checks required

Photo of kids only ride share service
Photo: HopSkipJump

Three busy working moms with eight kids enrolled in activities at five different school have created a ride share company only serving children. HopSkipDrive is now 4 years old, operating in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, the Bay Area and Denver. They have completed over 450,000 passenger rides so far.

Safety is paramount for the children. The company has multi-faceted approach to safety, hiring experienced drivers with 5 years of caregiver experience, and requiring detailed fingerprint-based background checks. An in-house team monitors rides as they are happening. The company’s smart phone app provides parents progress reports every step of the way, from ride confirmation and driver photo, to pick up and drop off updates, to following the ride in real time.

Parents able to book HopSkipDrive rides the next day, the next week, or even for the entire school year. Private rides start at $16, but parents are allowed to create car pool groups to reduce the costs to as little as $7 per child. The alternative of hiring a babysitter that will provide transportation is equally expensive, and it can be difficult to find someone to commit to the — possibly irregular, possibly changing — times needed.

“As working moms, we were dying,” says HopSkipJump’s co-founder and CEO Joanna McFarland. But they knew that many families like them were also scrambling to arrange school and activity transportation with hectic work schedules. The company she has created with fellow moms Carolyn Yashari Becher and Janelle McGlothlin has raised over $22 million in financing to date. But the moms are perhaps most proud of their perfect safety track record.

Would you let a stranger drive your kids to school? This rideshare service caters to children

By Jennifer Van Grove, 8/27/18, Contact Reporter for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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Friday, August 24, 2018

Airport entry facial scan catches imposter in first 3 days

Photo of airport facial scan, ID smuggled in shoe
Photos: Washington Dulles Airport, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

A man arriving at Dulles Airport in Washington, DC from San Paulo, Brazil with a French passport was discovered to be an imposter by the facial recognition identity verification system that was just put into use 3 days earlier. The man in question was then pulled aside for a secondary search, where an ID from the Republic of Congo was found in his shoe. The Republic of Congo ID was a match to the detainee.

Dulles Airport first tested a facial recognition system for identity authentication back in 2015, but it was not until August 20th that a fully working system was finally in place. Dulles is one of the first 14 airports to implement biometric entry and exit using facial recognition. 

According to Casey Durst, director of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), “Terrorists and criminals continually look for creative methods to enter the U.S. including using stolen genuine documents. The new facial recognition technology virtually eliminates the ability for someone to use a genuine document that was issued to someone else."

The facial recognition software checks the scan of the traveler against photos on Visas and other documents. The CBP’s privacy policy states that the CBP doesn’t permanently retain biographic scan data used for the screening process. Facial scan data from U.S. citizens is deleted within 12 hours of verification. Non-U.S. citizen data is held for up to 14 days.

US airports' new facial recognition tech spots first imposter

By Mariella Moon, Aug. 24, 2018, for | Security

Facial Recognition Technology Catches Imposter at Airport, Officials Say

By Glenn Fleishman, Aug. 23, 2018, for

CBP at Washington Dulles International Airport intercepted an imposter using new cutting-edge Facial Comparison Biometrics technology

Released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Aug, 23, 2018

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

New SmartMetric portable smart card securely stores medical records

Slide photo showing SmartMetric smart card

SmartMetric has announced a new biometric protected portable health record card that can store your medical scans and images. The card addresses a need for secure, portable medical records. Having access to these records in an emergency may shorten the time to receive live saving medical intervention.

The card is the size and thickness of a credit card. Inside the card is a powerful processor with extensive memory. A fingerprint scanner on the card surface scans the owner’s fingerprint. If the scan matches the encrypted fingerprint information stored on the card, the medical records can be accessed through a computer worldwide. 

“Having spent a long time in research and development of our biometric secure fingerprint unlocked credit card, we have been able to use the same miniature electronics technology into creating this amazing leap forward in portable medical files,” according to SmartMetric’s President and CEO, Chaya Hendrick.

This card can help give people with pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart conditions or other serious medical conditions peace of mind, especially as they travel. 

While not available to the general public at this time, the biometric health record card has gone into production for a field trial. SmartMetrics, through partnership with Argentina-based Grupo Datco, has contracted with a large academic institution for campus use. The trial will allow other businesses and government agencies to see the potential of biometric health record card. 

SmartMetric Develops A Biometric Portable Health Records Card That Stores Your Medical Records Inside the Card That Is Secured By Your Fingerprint

SmartMetric media release, Aug. 07, 2018 

SmartMetric Puts Biometric Card Into Production

By Alex Perala, July 16, 2018, for

New Distribution Partner Stokes Excitement Over SmartMetric Biometric Card

By Alex Perala, May 29, 2018, for

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Fingerprints, koalas and the FBI – fascinating facts

Photo of a koala bear
Photo: Getty Images/Andrew Merry

Our fingerprints are uniquely formed partly from genetics, and partly from pressure against our tiny finger pads in our mother’s womb as we grow and develop. Our fingerprints don’t change throughout our lifetime, but the ease of reading them does. When we reach puberty and our skin gets oilier, latent prints become easier to read. As we get old, our fingerprints start to harden, making it more difficult to scan and read the prints of seniors.

Some climbing animals such as gorillas, chimpanzees and koalas have fingerprints as well. Scientists believe it has something to do with evolutionary selection favoring ridged paws. However, a report of koala prints fooling Australian crime scene investigators is just a tall tale. A fingerprint specialist can spot the differences.

Historically, evidence of fingerprints being used to identify criminals was found in China in the 3rd century BCE. Fingerprint use in the West really expanded in the 1800s when Scottish physician Henry Fauld wrote an article for a science journal noting that fingerprints could be used for forensic purposes. Faulds wrote to Charles Darwin for help. An ailing Darwin passed the request to a scholarly relative, Francis Galton. Galton, known as the pioneer of fingerprint identification, amassed a collection of over 8,000 prints and developed a system for naming and classifying them.

The use of fingerprints as identification took another leap in the 1970’s with the introduction of computer-based systems. In the 1920s, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover ordered the compilation of a national pool of fingerprints. Today, the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) system has a database of over 135 million civil and criminal prints. The average query response time of the Tenprint Rapsheet Request (TPRS) system is less than 20 seconds.

Fingerprints are a standard of biometric identification. They are easy to use, convenient, and you can’t forget them like you can a wallet. Biometrics authentication methods are often tested – both by researchers and by hackers – and therefore are constantly being refined. For example, it is not the actual fingerprint image stored in your mobile device, but encrypted data created with your fingerprint and complex algorithms. The future of biometric authentication may be layered authentication, using a combination of fingerprints, face and voice.

Koalas, wood glue and the FBI: Fascinating facts about fingerprinting

By Alexandra Fisher and Simon Leo Brown for ABC News, Late Night Live, Australia, Jun, 30 2018

FBI NGI Monthly Fact Sheet

June 2018

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