Monday, September 25, 2023

Our System Verifies the Identity but Does Not Reveal It

Interview with Gordon Triplett, CEO, Atomic Biometrics

With the rapid increase of technology and innovation in the digital world, consumers are now cautious about their data accessibility and identity management. According to a report by Statista, in 2022, there were a total of 1802 cases of data compromise in the US; in the same year, over 422 million individuals were affected by identity theft or the loss of their personal data.

The report also says that many industry sectors have experienced cases of private data violations. 

Gordon Triplett, CEO, Atomic Biometrics.

Developers across the globe have proven technology and digital products as significant boons to humankind, which comes at the potential cost of cybercrime activities, such as data leaks, hacks, identity thefts, and more. Gordon Triplett, CEO of Atomic Biometrics, said, “People nowadays don’t put their data first in order to protect themselves from cybercrimes.”

Atomic Biometrics is a computing infrastructure project that secures digital accounts, enterprise ecosystems, and other high-value assets. The project features a unique system — Atomic IDs, that follows a proprietary method to record biometrics such as fingerprints and iris scans using blockchain technology. The system creates an encrypted digital identity that criminals cannot abuse; it protects from deep fakes and provides privacy and identity security to the individual. 

Triplett said, “The system just verifies the biometrics of the individual but does not reveal the person’s identity,” he said. “It is evidence or proof of personhood.” The evidence of personhood is biometric proof of the individual, despite their roaming, within various demographics like a train station or bus. 

The project quickly captured the Latin American market because of the region’s limited social safety net for individuals, creating an easy route for cartels, criminals, and other organizations to exploit individuals. In contrast to the US, Latin America’s importance and demand for ‘identity assurance’ is exceptionally acute. Triplett said, “If your data is compromised in the US, it is a temporary disaster for you, but it is closer to inconvenience. If your data is compromised in Latin America, you will find yourself against an adversary you are hopelessly outgunned against.” 

“You don’t have resources that are available in the US in Latin America,” he noted. 

Many transportation and transit companies in Latin America, such as Columbia, Chile, Panama, and Central America, have the highest demand for identity verification systems. In addition, identity verification plays a crucial role in protecting the public and avoiding swapping employees or responsible individuals, such as drivers, that can lead to kidnapping and many other illegal activities. 

Atomic Biometric is now undergoing a pilot with a transit agency in Colombia concerned about managing larger volumes of traffic and identifying those with valid transit credentials. It’s a crime prevention strategy as well. 

A strong proof of personhood can also help to combat terrorism within the transportation sector. According to the US Department of Transportation, nearly 35,000 trucks cross the U.S-Mexico border. Triplett said that a biometric identification system would leverage border security. Furthermore, it will also help to trace the drug flow in different regions based on the biometric record of the suspected person and their movement in the area. 

“Border control and customs deal an incredible amount with how people move; they are highly involved with it. On another side, the FBI and DEA depend on how things and people move in transportation because that’s how organizations hide drugs and illegal substances,” Triplett said.

Triplett also highlighted that with the current Russia-Ukraine war, there is a potential threat of corruption and stealing of money provided by the US to Ukraine. He said that if the officials can implement identity systems that can positively identify the person without their personally identifiable information (PII), it will help to resolve or limit the corruption issues. 

The proof of the personhood system comes from the centralized data of individuals. In this process, every time an individual claims an identity, it is directly connected to their biometric identity, which makes it extremely difficult for criminals to exploit the system and carry out illegal activities, including human trafficking. 

In addition, the system detects and pairs individuals together to identify individuals for an identity that is not claimed and updates it. Or, by using advanced analytics, it can check within the system to understand the individual’s travel across the border and flag the individual with several ‘different’ ID claims. 

With a focus on identity assurance, border security, and trafficking checks, Triplett and his team are also working towards making the system accessible to everyone and everywhere. The project is extending its system availability to disabled people by using an app system to create particle ID on a cell phone. This application can also be used by individuals who cannot walk to the kiosk for the time being and can later update it. 

These biometric systems are now used at Latin American airports that use the FBI-certified scanner. With the new Atomic Biometric relationship in Colombia, Atomic will also help with transit systems on the ground.

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Apurva Minchekar
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