New Study by NIST Reveals Biases in Facial Recognition Technology

New Study by NIST Reveals Biases in Facial Recognition Technology

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently did a study on the effects of race, age and sex on the facial recognition software. The results showed significant biases in the software for the people of color and women. 

The report’s primary author and a NIST computer scientist, Patrick Grother, said in a statement, 

“While it is usually incorrect to make statements across algorithms, we found empirical evidence for the existence of demographic differentials in the majority of the face recognition algorithms we studied.”  

This means that the algorithms misidentified people of color more than white people and they also misidentified women more than men. 

The study done by NIST is pretty robust. NIST evaluated 189 software algorithms from 99 developers, “a majority of the industry”, using federal government data sets which contains roughly 18 million images of more than 8 million people.

The study evaluated how well those algorithms perform in both one-to-one matches and one-to-many matches. Some algorithms were more accurate than others, and NIST carefully notes that “different algorithms perform differently.” 

The higher rates of false positives were in the one-to-one matching scenario for Asian and African American faces compared to Caucasian faces. And this effect was remarkably dramatic as well in some instances with the misidentifications 100 times more for the Asian and African American faces compared to their white counterparts. 

The study also showed that the algorithms resulted in more false positives for women than men and more false positives for the very young and very old compared to the middle-aged faces. In the one-to-many scenario, African American women had higher rates of false positives. 

The study also found out that the algorithms developed in Asian countries didn’t result in the same drastic false-positive results in the one-to-one matching of Asian and Caucasian faces. According to NIST, this shows that the impact of the diversity of training data, or lack thereof, on the resulting algorithm. 

“These results are an encouraging sign that more diverse training data may produce more equitable outcomes, should it be possible for developers to use such data,” Grother said.

 

 

Rising Social Media Scams in 2020 Calling for Digital Identity Verification

Rising Social Media Scams in 2020 Calling for Digital Identity Verification

Social media is a valued place where people can protect their identities and remain anonymous. Anonymity, unfortunately, is not coming up with what is expected. A few years back, social media was considered an innocent networking space, an absolutely deliberate platform. Today it is much more than just cats and dog videos for kids. 

Social media, a big name, big industry, on one hand, providing endless opportunities for healthy networking, employment, and business marketing norms. But, on the other hand, it is facilitating the proliferation of spams and trolls. Fake news and unaccountability. Why? 

Every so often, cases of harassment and fraudulent activities pop up being social media a source at the backend. Why? A freehand. 

Yes, a free hand, that is letting millions to open fake social media accounts with fake personal information. Keeping anonymity intact, just ‘rubs salt to the wound’. Trolls spend the whole day threatening millions of people across the social web using sock puppet profiles. 

Spammers build hundreds of fake social media accounts to hammer networking platforms with a barrage of fake posts and junk ads; that does nothing more than manipulating public thinking and spreading misinformation across the web. Moreover, the injection of malicious links and malware within the posts of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, etc. are initiating phishing and many other scams.

There are plenty of federal regulations in the US about cybersecurity and spams. These correspond to the security of online users and their identities as well as data protection. But there is no way to blame someone on social media if he/she commits fraud, as you don’t even know who they are.  

Social Media Scams 2020

Some Facts and Figures

This section gives an overview of social media usage and its penetration at a global level. In recent years, social networking applications have shown a clear shift towards handy devices such as mobile phones and tablets. Easy access to these platforms, therefore, have increased the usage via mobile devices. Social media is one of the most defining phenomena of the present environment that is reshaping the entire world. Statista shows that the global social penetration rate has reached about 45%. Among these, North America and East Asia have the highest penetration rate i.e. 70% and Northern Europe with 67%. Also, in the future, this percentage does not seem to go down anyhow because the survey shows that the number of expected social networking platform users in the United States would be 257.4 million by 2023. 

According to a research paper by IEEE published in 2019 named “Cyber Security in Social Media: Challenges and the Way Forward”, the number of active social media users in 2019 is estimated to be 2.77 billion and a forecast shows an increase that sums it up to 3.2 billion by the year 2021. The same paper highlights the threats in social media platforms that correspond to the impersonation of friends and celebrities, cyberbullying, and phishing scams. This increasing trend and penetration of the population into it shows a tremendous increase in social platforms’ security flaws. Lax rules of these platforms are inviting fraudsters to poison the cybersecurity triad i.e. confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Lack of security measures gives birth to attacks such as CSRF or XSS that lead to data breaches.

Digital Identity Verification: An Effective Measure for Social Media Security

Social media platforms that assume personal identification an overkill for social users would now be realizing that how many spammers are facilitated through these platforms and how they are disrupting the integrity and privacy of online users. Again, spammers are not only posting junk information but exploit weaknesses of system to damage in the best possible way among which phishing attacks and malware/malicious executables injection is the one. 

Another flaw due to lack of user verification affects age-restricted websites such as dating websites. Online users below an adult age are not verified and use the applications without any restriction. Or some websites do apply age affirmation pages or checkboxes for age verification that actually does not serve the purpose of age verification and can easily be deceived by minors.

Online Age Verification

In the past few years, age verification has become a regulatory requirement that is necessary for social media platforms to consider. Taking advantage of technological advancements, social media firms can take in place various solutions that could help in identifying the individuals and restrict services if they are not for children. 

Current verification methods can easily be falsified which require obvious changes in digital practices of verification. Many social networking platforms are now using age verification services that verify using document verification if the online user has misstated its age. Those identities would immediately be flagged with the status of unverified as they do not lie under the age limit that could access the networking platform. 

Ideally, social media platforms are required to collect minimized data from customers. For instance, if they want to make sure whether someone is above 18 years, then the individual would have to share a proof of identity in the form of an official ID document, etc. The company should ensure that the individual is above defined age and avoid collecting much of the information from the user’s uploaded document.  

 Digital Identity Verification

In social media platforms, it is quite easy to create a fake account/profile to impersonate an identity online. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or some dating sites, fraudsters find all of these a hot target and conduct malevolent activities in there. With single digital identity verification, misuse of social platforms can be crushed. 

Focusing on just collecting data whether it is true or false should not be goal of social networking platforms. Allowing legitimate traffic can help provide better search results. Stuffing fake identities affect the huge population and hence the platform reputation. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms as the underlying technology, facial recognition systems, and online document verification can help maintain an honest community with much more healthy working and networking opportunities. 

What the big deal, if an identity can be verified within seconds? But it would really be one if your platform is in the spotlight due to data breach that compromises security of millions…

Twitter Reveals Plans of Addressing Deepfakes

Twitter Reveals Plans of Addressing Deepfakes

Last month, Twitter announced that it was working on plans to better handle the rising issues of deepfakes. It has just released new guidelines on which direction they are going towards to combat the issue of deepfakes. 

Twitter is asking the public to weigh in and contribute towards shaping their policies for “synthetic and manipulated media”. 

Twitter explained in a series of tweets about their proposed policies and their future plans. Twitter also put the most emphasis on the importance of public feedback.

 

Twitter has released initial drafts to combat the issue of deepfakes

synthetic and manipulated media

(Source: Twitter)

 

Here is the draft of the policies regarding synthetic and manipulated media. 

“Twitter may:

  • place a notice next to Tweets that share synthetic or manipulated media;
  • warn people before they share or like Tweets with synthetic or manipulated media; or
  • add a link – for example, to a news article or Twitter Moment – so that people can read more about why various sources believe the media is synthetic or manipulated.”

 

Twitter also mentioned that if a tweet includes any kind of synthetic or manipulated media that could be misleading or threatening someone’s physical safety or lead to serious harm, that tweet might be removed. 

Twitter will close the feedback period on Wednesday, November 27, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. GMT. Thirty days before the policy goes into effect, twitter will make another announcement informing users of the new regulations. 

 

Facial Recognition: Worries About the Use of Synthetic Media

In 2019, 4.4 billion internet users were connected to the internet worldwide, a rise of 9% from last year recorded by Global Digital 2019 report. As the world shrinks to the size of a digital screen in your palm, the relevance of AI-backed technologies can hardly be overstated. Mobile applications took over marketplaces; cloud storage replaced libraries, and facial recognition systems became the new ID. 

On the flip side, this has also exposed each one of us to a special kind of threat that is as intangible as its software of origin: the inexplicable loss of privacy. 

AI-powered surveillance, in the form of digital imprints, is a worrying phenomenon that is fast taking center stage in technology conversations. Facial recognition is now closely followed by facial replacement systems that are capable of thwarting the very basis of privacy and public anonymity. Synthetic media, in the form of digitally altered audios, videos, and images, are known to have impacted many in recent times. As the largest threat to online audiovisual content, deepfakes are going viral, with more than 10,000 videos recorded to date. 

As inescapable as facial technology seems, researchers have found a way to knock it down using adversarial patterns and de-identification software. However, the onus falls on the enablers of technology who must now outpace the rate at which preparators are learning to abuse facial recognition for their own interests. 

Trending Facial Recognition Practices 

Your face is your identity. Technically speaking, that has never been truer than it is today. 

Social media, healthcare, retail & marketing, and law enforcement agencies are amongst the leading users of facial recognition databases that stock countless images of individuals for various reasons. These images are retrieved from surveillance cameras embedded with the technology, and from digital profiles that can be accessed for security and identification purposes. 

As a highly controversial technology, facial recognition is now being subjected to strict regulation. Facebook, the multi-billion dollar social media giant, has been penalized for its facial recognition practices several times by legal authorities. Privacy Acts accuse it of misusing public data and disapprove of its data collection policies.

In popular use is Facebook’s Tag Suggestions feature using biometric data (facial scanning) to detect users’ friends in a photo. Meddling with the private affairs and interests of individual Facebook users, the face template developed using this technology is stored and reused by the server several times, mostly without consent. While users have the option to turn off face scanners at any time, the uncontrolled use of the feature exposes them to a wide range of associated threats. 

Cautions in Facial Replacement Technology

 

As advanced as technology may be, it has its limitations. In most cases, the accuracy of identification arises as a leading concern among critics, who point to the possibility of wrongly identifying suspects. This is especially true in the case of people of color, as the US government has found them to be wrongly identified by the best facial algorithms five to ten times higher than whites. 

For instance, a facial recognition software, when fed with a single photo of a suspect, can match up to 50 photos from the FBI database, leaving the final decision up to human officials. In most cases, image sources are not properly vetted, further dampening the accuracy of the technology underuse. 

De-identification Systems

 

Businesses are rapidly integrating facial recognition systems for identity authentication and customer onboarding. But while the technology itself is experiencing rampant adoption, experts are also finding a way to trick it. 

De-identification systems, as the name suggests, seek to mislead facial recognition software and trick it into wrongly identifying a subject. It does so by changing vital facial features of a still picture and feeding the flawed information to the system. 

As a step forward, Facebook’s AI research firm FAIR claims to have achieved a new milestone by using the same face replacement technology for a live video. According to them, this de-identification technology was born to deter the rising abuse of facial surveillance. 

Adversarial Examples and Deepfakes

 

Facial recognition fooling imagery in the form of adversarial examples also have the ability to fool computer vision systems. Wearable gear such as sunglasses has adversarial patterns that trick the software into identifying faces as someone else, as found by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. 

A group of engineers from the University of KU Leuven in Belgium has attempted to fool AI algorithms built to recognize faces, simply by using some printed patterns. Printed patches on clothing can effectively make someone virtually invisible for surveillance cameras.

Currently, these experiments are limited to specific facial software and databases, but as adversarial networks advance, the technology and expertise will not be limited to a few hands. In the current regulatory scenario, it is hard to say who will win the race: the good guys who will use facial recognition systems to identify criminals or the bad guys who will catch on to the trend of de-identification and use it to fool even the best of technology? 

AI researchers of the Deepfake Research Team at Stanford University have delved deeper into the rising trend of synthetic media and found existing techniques such as erasing objects from videos, generating artificial voices, and mirroring body movements, to create deepfakes. 

This exposure to synthetic media will change the way we perceive news entirely. Using artificial intelligence to deceive audiences is now a commonly learned skill. Face swapping, digital superimposition of faces on different bodies, and mimicking the way people move and speak can have wide-ranging implications. The use of deepfake technology has been seen in false pornography videos, political smear campaigns and fake news scares, all of which have damaged the reputation and social stability. 

 

Deepfakes

Humans Ace AI in Detecting Synthetic Media

 

The unprecedented scope of facial recognition has opened up a myriad of problems. Technology alone can’t win this war. 

Why Machines Fail 

 

Automated software can fail to detect a person entirely, or display improper results because of tweaked patterns in a deepfake video. Essentially, this happens because the machines and software understand faces can be exploited.

Deep learning mechanisms, that power facial recognition technology, extract information from large databases and look for recurring patterns in order to learn to identify a person. This entails measuring scores of data points on a single face image, such as calculating distance between pupils, to reach a conclusion.

Cybercriminals and fraudsters can exploit this weakness by blinding facial recognition software to their identity without having to wear a mask, thereby escaping any consequence whatsoever. Virtually anything and everything that uses AI solutions to carry out tasks are now at risk, as robots designed to do a specific job can easily be misled into making the wrong decision. Self-driving cars, bank identification systems, medial AI vision systems, and the likes are all at serious risk of being misused. 

Human Intelligence for Better Judgement

 

Currently, there is no tool available for accurate detection of deepfakes. As opposed to an algorithm, it is easier for humans to be prepared to detect altered content online and be able to stop it from spreading.  An AI arms race coupled with human expertise will discern which technological solutions can keep up with such malicious attempts. The latest detection techniques will, therefore, need to include a combination of artificial and human intelligence. 

By this measure, artificial intelligence reveals undeniable flaws that stem from the abstract analysis that it relies on. In comparison, human comprehension surpasses its digital counterpart and identifies more than just pixels on a face. 

As a consequence, the use of hybrid technologies, offered by leading identification software tackles this issue with great success. Wherever artificially learned algorithms fail, humans can promptly identify a face and perform valid authentications. 

In order to combat digital crimes and secure AI technologies, we will have to awaken the detective in us. Being able to tell a fake video from a real one will take real judgment and intuitive skills, but not without the right training. Currently, we are not equipped to judge audiovisual content, but we can learn how to detect doctored media and verify content based on source, consistency, confirmation, and metadata. 

However, as noticed by privacy evangelists and lawmakers alike, the necessary safeguards are not built into these systems. And we have a long way to go before relying on machines for our safety. 

 

Identity Verification – Key to Eliminate BEC Fraud

Identity Verification – Key to Eliminate BEC Fraud

Fraud prevention and cybersecurity are the major concerns of the companies in the digital era. Norton predicted that cybercriminals will steal an estimated 33 billion records in 2023. And misuse of such information is a common practice. Fraud comes unannounced so the businesses need to adopt a proactive approach towards such events. Fraud prevention is a continuous process. For example, if you perform KYC and AML screening before onboarding your customers and do not practice it at the time of every transaction you are leaving a loophole for a Business Email Compromise (BEC) fraud. 

BEC fraud, also called CEO fraud is very common because most of the communication is online. The criminals do a lot of research before targeting an entity for BEC fraud. In this fraud, the criminals will send an email or make a call for urgent fund transfer to a company impersonating as one of their customers or merchants

BEC fraud is executed in a very friendly way. The criminals either manipulate the person with a friendly chat or by showing urgency in fulfillment of their fund transfer request. 

For example, 50 years old Evaldas Rimasauskas tricked Google and Facebook to wire more than $100 million to his bank accounts. 

The man researched a merchant of Facebook and Google namely, “Quanta Computer” and registered a firm with a similar name. Then he sent fake invoices and contracts to make the fraud appear more natural.  

He tricked the employees of both companies into wiring money to his bank accounts in Latvia and Cyprus. Then he transferred the funds to his bank accounts in Hong Kong, Hungary, Cyprus, Slovakia, Latvia, and Lithuania to hide the money trail. 

How is a BEC Fraud Executed?

 

A BEC fraud starts with a lot of research about entities (businesses that could be the soft targets for the fraud. The criminals collect information related to the merchants or customers of the company that has their payments pending. Once they have the information the criminals will make an email ID quite similar to that of your client’s email ID and contacts one of your employees. At times the criminals use the legitimate email ID of your customers because one of your customers might have been careless about securing their email credentials. 

This fraud could also be executed the other way round. The criminals might use your email credentials to contact your merchants and clients for fund transfer of pending payments. Your clients will make the payments and you will have to bear a financial loss if your legit email credentials are used for the execution of the fraud. 

The contact is mostly conducted through a casual email like asking about your last vacation or your health. Once they break the ice, they will send a friendly email regarding the change of their account details or for an urgent fund transfer.  

Not suspecting anything suspicious the employees often fulfill the request, quickly due to the urgency created by the criminal. 

Often the criminals send fake invoices as well with the official header or logo of one of your clients. Or they make calls impersonating as the CEO of your client company to make things look more natural. 

Also, in most of the email compromise frauds, the criminals ask for a wire transfer and leverage over the confidence that companies have in security protocols practiced in wire transfer fraud. 

Industries That Are Common Victims of BEC Fraud

Banks

 

Banks are the most common targets of BEC fraud as they are the financial intermediaries and serve a diverse clientele. Banks around the globe are struggling to retain their customers after the advent of fintech and are always in contact with their clients. Receiving wire transfer requests from customers is common for banks. When they receive any such email for urgent transfer from a credible client the employee often tries to fulfill the request at the earliest to retain happy customers. 

Real estate

 

Real estate is also a common victim. The criminals collect information regarding some ongoing real estate deals and contact the buyer as the legal representative of the seller and request a fast payment or clearance of dues. 

As the deal is in the closing phase the buyer does not suspect anything suspicious and makes the transaction. 

B2B Businesses

 

In this case, the criminals target the companies in a B2B relationship. The email ID of the CEO or legal representative of one of the companies is exploited in such cases. The criminals collect complete information regarding the previous email communication among the two companies and use it to send an email with a natural casual tone. 

How to Prevent BEC Fraud?

 

BEC fraud has caused huge losses to many businesses of all sizes and types, even the non-profit organizations have been the victims of this fraud. FBI’s Internet Crime Report (ICR) found that BEC fraud losses rose by 90.3% in 2018 and fraud complaints rose by 14.3%. 

Businesses of all types and sizes need to pay heed towards the prevention of BEC fraud. It not only cause financial loss but also affects the credibility of a company. Below are a few suggestions for preventing BEC fraud.

Identity verification of every request of wire transfer

 

Most of the businesses use online communication, but do not understand the significant risk lurking in the cyberspaces. Businesses need to develop and practice in-house fraud prevention measures to counter any BEC fraud attempt. 

Businesses should use verification methods to screen every such request. Ask the email sender to go through a real-time identity verification process every time a customer makes such a request. The verification could be performed through face recognition or 2-factor authentication. 

Online identity verification is a feasible solution as it shows quick results and does not cause any inconvenience for the end-user. Also, the visible security measures will show your commitment to the security of your merchants or customers. 

Train your employees

 

Employees of companies are the common victims of BEC frauds. The criminals choose a soft target that is easy to manipulate for wire transfer fraud or a phishing scam. 

So, the employees must be trained on a regular basis, regarding the latest trends in cybersecurity and the types of cybercrimes. This will help them to identify suspicious emails and fake fund transfer requests. 

The training could be based on the following pointers:

 

  1. Do not open any emails that are way too attractive, it might be a phishing email. 
  2. Beware of urgent payment requests from your merchants. 
  3. Tackling the account credential change request from your customers/merchants
  4. Very casual and friendly email from your merchants 
  5. Train them about the technical aspects of fraud prevention software used in your company

Report the concerned authorities 

 

As soon as you find a BEC fraud, report it to the concerned authorities. It will protect the company from such attacks in the future. Also, it is the corporate and legal responsibility of the businesses to report such fraud attempts for the benefit of the masses. 

Email security

 

Using email security filters help in analyzing and detecting any threats in the email messages. Also using the filters for detecting the newly registered domain names similar to your domain name helps in finding the potential risk before it could cause any harm. 

Such filters help in identifying and stopping spoofing emails from reaching the mailbox of the employees. 

To wrap up, BEC fraud is a planned crime and businesses need to be proactive to eliminate such frauds. Caution in sharing contact information and basic identity verification of the person making such fund transfer requests is necessary to eliminate the chances of becoming a victim of BEC fraud. In-depth verification of clients and merchants before making transactions helps in eliminating the risk at the very first stage. These minimal and easy steps might prevent a huge loss for your company.

Age Verification – Ultimate Online Protection for Minors

The rapid increase in the use of the internet is raising some major concerns for parents regarding the online protection of their children. With the world moving towards digitisation and smart devices, every child is now exposed to the digital world. Whether it’s about watching youtube videos or playing games online, the children are regularly using mobile phones and tablets. On the internet, no one knows who you are. The freedom of staying anonymous on the internet allows anyone to get registered on any website using any identity information. 

Generally, to register on any site, we need an email address and some personal information like name, gender, date of birth, etc. For instance, Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo provide easy access to free email accounts, without proper verification of the individuals. Any child can get a free email account and use it for age-restricted sites, i.e. dating and porn sites, gambling platforms, and online liquor stores, etc. by misinterpreting their age and identity. Similarly, the same thing goes for adults as well that they can access services and products by manipulating their age.

“Act your age” isn’t applicable anymore in the digital world

The widespread use of the internet and smart devices has exposed the minors to the dark side of the web. Although the existence of child predators, pedophiles, fraudsters and cybercriminals is not a new phenomenon, however, the ease of access to social networking and other online platforms has contributed in an unsupervised encounter between adults and minors. This has grabbed the attention of cybercriminals and fraudsters providing them another opportunity to exploit the identities of children.

 

 

Exposure of children to the internet has raised serious concerns for the parents. The curious nature of kids to explore everything online is landing them in a dark pit divulging in illegal activities. According to NHS survey of smoking, drinking and drug use among school children (11 to 15-year-olds) in England -in 2016, three percent said they were regular smokers, 74 percent said they find it very difficult to give up smoking and 6 percent said they were currently regular e-cigarette smokers. 

Moreover, minors are actively seen accessing social networking platforms and multiple age-restricted websites. The substantial risk associated with such platforms is the lack of proper age verification and authentication checks. According to the Young People and Gambling 2018 report, more than 450,000 children aged between 11 to 16 place bets regularly. Not to forget that gambling is illegal in most countries that too for minors. Furthermore, the presence of kids on the internet has resulted in increased Children Identity theft and fraud, eventually causing millions of losses for parents.

Age Verification – the need for Online Businesses

 

The anonymity on the internet and negligence of the businesses to confirm the age of their users is proving harmful not just for the kids and their families but for businesses as well. In the past few years, some deadly events took place due to a lack of age verification checks on the retailing stores. In 2014, a 16-year-old boy murdered the schoolfellow by brutally stabbing him with a knife. When investigated, he claimed to order a knife online from Amazon. That wasn’t the only case.

The rapid-increase of such pernicious incidents and children’s identity theft has propelled government and regulatory agencies to take steps against such incidents and come up with measures to avoid them in the future. To protect minors’ identities online and safeguarding them from age-restricted content, products, and services, the government has strictly imposed legal penalities for the businesses that fail to verify the age of their users before allowing them access to mature content. 

The businesses that don’t confirm the age of their customers before allowing access to age-restricted content can face up to two years of imprisonment and fine. According to the Digital Economy Act 2017, the commercially operated age-restricted websites must ensure that their users are 18+. In the case of failure to comply, the regulators are empowered to fine them up to £250,000 (or up to 5% of their turnover) and order the blocking of non-compliant websites.

Goals of Age Verification for Children:

 

Performing age verification online is essential to protect children’s privacy, ensuring their safety from cyberbullies and assuring that they don’t gain access to inappropriate and mature content.

 

 

Performing age verification online is hampered by the fact that children generally lack credentials and proof to verify their age themselves. Therefore, access to age-restricted websites and mature content is limited to the users who can prove they are adults. If the user fails to verify their age and identity, the will be straightforwardly denied access. Moreover, there are some websites that perform identity authentication for adults and on the basis of their authority as a legal guardian, age verification of their children can be performed. In this way, the parents can track their children online as well.

 

Verify identity

How Blockchain is Making the World a Better Place

Verify identity: The whole world lives online now. Yes, that’s an exaggeration but we are gradually moving there. Every day millions of people connect with the internet to research, shop, comment and to pay bills. The more a person interacts online the more concrete their digital footprint. 

How Blockchain Can Resolve Identity Management Issues

What’s Wrong with Online Money Transaction?

Most online transactions require a person to give identification before proceeding. If you have purchased items on Amazon, used PayPal or Google Pay, you know the drill. Usually, these companies ask you to answer personal questions. 

Answering questions is not the problem, where they store them is.

Every time someone interacts with the internet this way, they leave that information on the web. Your digital identity creates clones on different platforms (wherever you interact), which is a security risk. Hacking of Equifax was one such episode where personal data was hacked. This event and many others expose how vulnerable the system is.

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How can Blockchain Help?

Blockchain offers security. It lets individuals and businesses create a peer to peer network. They can exchange information or currency through it. It also allows individuals to create digital identities or self-sovereign identities which are difficult to steal. 

What is so special about Blockchain? Democracy!

Master nodes are a possible solution to verify identity online. Master nodes democratically select a node to verify the user. Similarly, they can verify documents. Nodes are the soul of the blockchain.

There are three types of nodes;

  • Node: Send and receive transactions
  • Full node: Whatever the node does plus it keeps the copy of the entire chain
  • Master nodes: It has the power of the full node plus enables decentralized governance and budgeting. It’s the master.

Your Digital Identity is in Safe Hands with Blockchain

Blockchain basically creates your digital identity or a digital watermark that can be affixed to all your online transactions. Hence any unusual or suspicious transaction will not be approved since they won’t be wearing your digital watermark.

Blockchain not only secures your Verify identity but also helps secure the clones. Which means that you are more secure transacting online if it exists on the Blockchain. You get more freedom about your identity. The companies also get more control in who they approve or include in their blockchain network. 

Digital Identity Verification

Utilising Digital Identity Verification for Imparting Better Healthcare

The importance of patient identification and verification is crucial in the healthcare sector. According to a paper by the World Bank, patient identification can be critical in imparting fast and effective healthcare services to patients and can do wonders for public health management, thereby helping achieve sustainable development. Digital identity verification systems can assist healthcare providers to not only to improve the quality of healthcare they provide but would also enable them to improve organisation and sharing of medical records, ensure insurance claims and reduce medical fraud by protecting patient data.

Healthcare providers in a lot of countries are still using paper-based systems to maintain patient records. The handful of providers that do use digital systems have stagnant IT systems that are incapable of processing and transferring data. This has lead to weak planning giving rise to capacity issues and inefficient care for patients. Relevant government institutions also find it difficult to provide better access to healthcare if they have no way of identifying and verifying individuals. This also keeps out individuals who are in need of necessary healthcare services but cannot have access to it due to lack of identification.

How Digital Identity Verification Can Play a Role in Healthcare

Different processes in the healthcare sector need the identity of patients. From providing the proper treatment to maintaining patient records, the identity and verification of patients is extremely important. There are a number of ways in which digitised identification systems can enable healthcare providers to impart better medical services;

  • Efficient Data Collection for Planning and Research

With the proliferation of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing, systems are now available that have automated entire processes for different industries. Particularly for sectors are data rich, like finance and healthcare, AI and its applications have provided amazing solutions. Digital identity verification systems can, therefore, allow access to patient records and histories in an instant. It allows healthcare providers and government ministries to efficiently plan according to the data collected through these systems. It also allows them to access data for research and development purposes.

  • Managing Patient Treatments and Records

Through proper automated identification and verification procedures, healthcare providers can manage and access patient records instantly. It also allows transfer and sharing of data amongst healthcare institutions, therefore reducing duplicate testing, and allowing for swift and efficient patient care. Patients can control the sharing of personal information as well. As records are updated in real-time, doctors and support staff are able to gain access to patients’ condition instantly by only identifying them effectively.

 

  • Improved Insurance Management

Filing for insurance claims can be a tedious process for hospitals. Automated patient verification systems can provide hospitals and clinics with efficient systems that can process insurance claims and assess the benefits that are included in a patient’s insurance program. It also allows patients to prove that they have access to insurance and have access to healthcare benefits and programs. Outdated systems can sometimes result in double payments, causing trouble for both the patient and healthcare providers.

  • Protecting Patient Records

With increased automation of information, cybercrime has also increased tenfolds. It has equally affected the healthcare sector increasing the ratio of medical identity theft. Patient records are increasingly being sold on the dark web and fetch a significant sum for the seller. Therefore, the protection of patient records must be equally important for healthcare providers. Online identity verification effectively eliminates the risk of fraud and identity theft. Measures must also be taken to protect patient information within the healthcare facility. Putting up anti-malware and anti-virus systems and firewalls are no longer enough. Hospitals and clinics need to robustly encrypt their patient records in order to thwart any cybercriminals.

By properly identifying and authenticating patient identities through automated systems, they can also make sure that a person is not using stolen information. Through digital document verification healthcare providers can identify patients. They can further authenticate a patient’s credentials through an online facial recognition system. This can enable hospitals to establish a true identity of a patient and provide them with relevant care effectively.

Shufti Pro is an online identity verification services provider that uses AI-enabled protocols to identify and verify users for a number of different industries, including the healthcare sector. It produces verification results within 30-60 seconds and allows for instant verification of users. The healthcare sector can benefit from its ID verification services in the form of document verification and face verification. Shufti Pro also has an OCR-based data extraction system that can extract information from documents in an instant. It uses a RESTful API and mobile SDKs for fast and efficient integration into an existing web-based interface of a company.

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Real Estate Industry Kyc

Fraud Prevention in Real Estate Industry

Fraud prevention tools that include3rd-party KYC service providers are essential in the real estate industry to elaborate what we mean. Please imagine this: you’re living cosily in your house. You’ve had it for quite some time. You bought it using the money that you received in your inheritance. It has a decent market value and you’re fortunate to not have any mortgages or loans to pay. One day you get up and you go out to check your mail. There is a mail for you from a real estate company that you have never heard of. You open it up thinking it must be an ad or something, but it’s actually a letter addressed to you. As you read through it you get a serious expression on your face and your heart starts to race. You think this has to be some mistake or a misunderstanding. You call the real estate company and ask to speak to the person mentioned in the letter. You tell him your name and he tells you that you have missed out on your mortgage payment for the first month. You tell him that you never applied for any such mortgage on your property. He says you signed the agreements and everything. You tell him that you would like to meet up and he agrees and you go to the address mentioned on the letter. When you reach the place you ask the secretary to direct you to the person whom you spoke with. You enter in his office and the person sitting behind the desk inquires as to how he can help you? You tell him your name,  and tell him you spoke on the phone with him. He suddenly loses the smile on his face and with a serious look inquires if this is a joke. You tell him that you almost fainted when you saw the letter. He says the man he processed the mortgage for was younger and a totally different person. You show him your ID and then he is the one who looks like he is going to faint. You have just become a victim of title fraud, you wonder why didn’t the real estate company do any background checks.

Luckily you have title insurance, although you never thought it would be required…

Another reason for the checks is that the real estate industry is a very lucrative and high equity business. This fact is something that in itself attracts a lot of people to invest in it. Sometimes not all the investor are good. Some plan to launder their money for use in criminal activities or even terrorism. Hence, AML/CFT (Anti-money Laundering/Combating Finance of Terrorism) compliance is imperative.

Are KYC Service Providers the Ideal Fraud Prevention Tool?

The incident above is a plausible scenario and a KYC process including a thorough background check would’ve actually stopped this from happening in the first place. These days real estate agents and companies can hire third party KYC service providers to help with their verification needs. These 3rd-party services providers use advanced AI that not only simplifies the entire process but also makes it extremely fast. The SaaS software integrates with almost all systems. The AI uses the power of the Internet, a webcam or a smartphone camera to carry out its KYC procedure. Let us explain using the fraud scenario mentioned above. When a client comes in for a mortgage they are asked to fill in an online form. Once the form is filled the KYC provider SaaS software kicks in and informs the customer of the process and also that the session will be recorded. Then it asks the individual to face the camera or, if one is not available, sends a link on their smartphone so that they can use their selfie cam. The AI checks for anything that would alter their face or hide it, such as excessive makeup, a mask, or using of a picture instead of showing their live face. The system is advanced enough to account for facial hair, glasses, jewellery and hair cuts. After that the system asks the person to show their ID on the camera and asks them to focus on their picture, name, DOB, and number (if applicable). The AI then matches the picture with the face and checks for signs of tampering or forgery on the ID. During this time the AI also carries out a background check. It searches global watchlists for finding any mention of fraud, money laundering or any links with terrorist organisations; thus ensuring compliance with AML/CFT rules and regulations. If everything checks out  then the system gives the go-ahead for the processing of the mortgage request. All these properties make KYC service providers an effective and efficient fraud prevention tool.

What to Look for in a Good Fraud Protection Tool?

Not all KYC service providers are the same, so we’re mentioning somethings that will make it easy for you to search out a good fraud prevention tool.

The most important  point is to make sure that the company you are selecting is compliant with all rules and regulations in the industry as lack of compliance can result in heavy fines for the company as well as the real estate business. The other important factors is speed. As people get tend to pass on long and time consuming processes that are complicated. Keeping this issue in mind, most good companies do verifications in seconds and provide easy-to-follow instructions. The background checks the system carries out is done simultaneously so it is also processed within the same time frame.

Almost all KYC service providers offer advanced AI solutions, but the good ones offer an adder layer of verification which is done by HI (people). Once the AI gives a verdict it is verified by live people to ensure there are no false positives. The entire process is completed in less than a minute.

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russia

Shufti Pro® Expands ID Checks Online to Russia and China

 

Shufti Pro® advances their technology to support these world giants for their e-KYC needs to satiate stipulation for digital ID verification services from the East.

BATH, United Kingdom – November 1, 2017 – Shufti Pro®, the emergent leader in the online identity and document authentication milieu announced earlier today that their business verification services will now be available in Russia and China.

The software as a service endeavours to perform online identity verification for online businesses, online merchants, financial institutions, etc. They have now decided to extend their service to those in Russia and China as well. Shufti Pro® is now able to verify the original passports and their holders’ identity in the two countries.

Shufti Pro® employs the use of artificial as well as human intelligence to verify the authenticity of the document as well as the identity of the owner. Their process is quick, accurate, efficient and happens in real-time. They strive to provide digital KYC verification solutions with the aim of making the global virtual marketplace a safe and secure place as a trading platform.

CEO, Shufti Pro® said:

“We are proud to announce our expansion to include Russia and China in the countries we support. Rest assured, our integration into their online businesses will result in increased fraud prevention through accurate and digital identity and passport verification services .”

Talks with the CTO of the corporation enlightened us about their plans to include Russian and Chinese languages in their system as well. “Language incorporation, in the future, will result in a greater number of government-issued documents to be verified, like ID cards, driving licenses, credit/debit cards, etc.”, informed the CTO, Shufti Pro®.

The company plans to keep working on their technology in order to engage the entire world and bring them on one platform where they can fight against frauds, money laundering, identity thefts, etc. Reflecting on their astonishing progress in the span of 12 months, it seems highly probable that their goal of being one of the best fraud protection services will be realised sooner rather than later.

shufti pro due books

DueBooks® integrates Shufti Pro® for Business Verification Services

 

Improved KYC protocols, superior ID verification services and reduced on-boarding time compels the new entrant into the startup world to adopt Shufti Pro® for protection in the highly vulnerable cyberspace

BATH, United Kingdom – October 2017 – Shufti Pro®, one of the rapidly growing online identity verification Software as a Service (SaaS), has made public that after the huge success of EPP System’s® implementation of their services, now DueBooks® has decided to follow in their lead and embrace Shufti Pro’s® real-time ID verification technology for a simple, secure and fast paced on-boarding process.

A month ago, DueBooks® employed Shufti Pro®’s services to act as a security screen and help them verify customers’ identities. During this time, a sizeable number of potential consumers were verified and the results from the company’s survey show 90% reduced on-boarding time due to digital KYC compliance. The results go on show that numerous dubious customers were rightly stamped out during the screening process, preventing considerable potential losses to the startup.

CEO, DueBooks® said:

“For a novice company like ours, digital identity verification services from Shufti Pro® have proved their worth by increasing our fraud-free client base, enhancing our on-boarding process and developing a trust between us and our customers. With a boost in sales, and the amplified quality of our services, DueBooks® has been able to form strong foundational basis, and looks forward to quite a bright future.”

Shufti Pro® works with some of the most promising emerging start-ups, businesses and enterprises, helping them quickly and accurately uphold the Know Your Customer compliance . For every business, regardless of their level, Shufti Pro® believes that fraud prevention must be the foremost concern. They make this come to life through the use of artificial and human intelligence. Checking the authenticity of their customers has proved to be of immense importance for DueBooks® due to Shufti Pro’s® 99% accurate results, cost & time effectiveness and appropriate confidentiality and security measures.

Secure identity verification services have streamlined DueBooks’® digital HR and cost-accounting system through substantiating their clients as well as their employees using their legal credentials and performing ID checks on them. DueBooks® is rapidly covering milestones towards becoming an established business by performing efficient team & project management, attendance reports formation, invoice/expenses/salary administration, etc. for themselves as well as other companies. The manual resources previously consumed during these errands are now put to a better use of building up their business using Shufti Pro’s online fraud prevention tools.

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DueBooks® can be used by many different companies, who can use it to validate their customers/employees as well. The swiftly progressing startup can now work on their business rather than in their business. The latter chore has been taken up by Shufti Pro® and both have joined hands for a fruitful collaboration for online fraud prevention and digital KYC purposes.