FindBiometrics and Mobile ID World are both reporting live from Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. The world’s biggest and most celebrated conference and exhibition dealing with mobility and connectivity, MWC is a buzzing hive of innovation, leadership and disruption, especially in the realm of digital identity and biometrics. Today is the first day of MWC and already Samsung has released its latest biometrically secured flagship handset, GSMA has provided an update on its Mobile Connect initiative, and attendees are participating in a facial recognition based access control pilot.
GSMA Mobile Connect is a universal digital identity solution that enables access across a broad range of online services via a single login. Based on a user’s unique mobile number and bolstered with additional authentication factors for higher-risk applications, Mobile Connect is a simple and secure way for MNOs to empower mobile subscribers in an increasingly mobile-first world.
Today GSMA announced the two latest MNOs in China and South Korea to deploy Mobile Connect: LGU+ and China Mobile respectively. LGU+ is a particularly notable get for GSMA in this regard, as it was the country’s last Mobile Connect hold-out. Now, thanks to LGU+, all of South Korea’s 44 million-plus mobile subscribers are offered Mobile Connect.
“We are seeing the number of operators offering safe and secure digital identity services to their customers rapidly expanding,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “Across the globe, mobile operators are fulfilling an important role in the digital identity space, giving users control over their own data and enabling consumers, businesses and governments to interact and access online services in a convenient, private, and trusted environment, regardless of geographical borders.”
Samsung’s Biometric Smartphone
The much anticipated Samsung Galaxy S9 launched in Barcelona, as expected. Keeping up with its reputation as a multimodal biometrics pioneer, the Korean Smartphone OEM emphasized the improved security features on its new flagship, which is consistent with pre-release speculation surrounding the devices.
The Galaxy S9 smartphone still features a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, but the big biometrics news is Intelligent Scan: a contactless authentication system combining Samsung’s signature iris recognition with improved facial recognition. The biometrics on the new Galaxy phone is there to make the end-user experience of the handset – which features an impressive new camera – even more optimal with easy and customizable security.
Writing about the announcement, Mobile ID World head writer Alex Perala pointed out that the multimodal security could give the new Galaxy phone an edge on the mono-modal iPhone X. “For some security-conscious consumers who aren’t sure whether to buy the iPhone X or the Galaxy S9, given their many similarities, that could make the difference,” he writes.
The Faces of MWC
Biometrics have proliferated MWC beyond the booths. Winnipeg-based MEXIA is running a facial recognition access control pilot at MWC this year. At peak conference times, attendees who choose to participate in the pilot can use contactless biometric access points located at Hall 1, VIP Drop-Off (CC3) and North Entrance/Hall 8.
The biometric access pilot is further evidence of how biometrics are becoming increasingly integral to the MWC experience. Not only are biometrics and strong authentication major topics on stage during the keynotes, in the booths on the showroom floor, and all over the famous Innovation City exhibit, but identity is opening doors too.
Stay tuned to FindBiometrics and Mobile ID World throughout the week as we continue to bring you the biometrics and identity news straight out of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.