biometrics

Business

Visa finally gets on board with optional credit card signatures

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As more and more credit card companies announced an end to the need for signatures on credit and debit card receipts, major player Visa kept holding out. Until today.

Finally, Visa announced Friday it was making signatures “optional” in North America starting in April.

Visa’s move, which keeps signing an option for now, is a little different to MasterCard, Discover, and American Express who are straight-up eliminating the need for something on the dotted line. But it’s essentially dumping signatures unless retailers decide they still want one. Read more…

More about Security, Visa, Signatures, Biometrics, and Credit Cards

Business

Hey, look: A fingerprint scanner under a smartphone screen

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Could the future of smartphone biometrics look a lot like a shinier version of the past? The answer is most definitely yes — that is, if Synaptics Incorporated has anything to say about it. 

The San Jose-based hardware manufacturer announced plans on Monday to mass produce an optical in-display fingerprint sensor, and, according to the company, it has a very big partner involved. 

The “Clear ID” scanner, which would reside under a phone’s screen, would theoretically allow for easy-to-use biometrics on bezel-less phones. While Synaptics is not the first company to develop such technology, that it claims to have a deal with an unnamed “top five [original equipment manufacturer]” suggests it’s ready for the big leagues.  Read more…

More about Apple, Touch, Biometrics, Fingerprints, and Face

Business

Discover won’t force you to sign for purchases anymore

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Forget signing your name on credit and debit card purchases with Discover.

Starting in April, the credit card company won’t require a signature after buying something in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean.

Chip technology — along with biometrics and multi-factor authentication — has made signing a receipt a redundant security measureMasterCard announced it was ditching signatures back in October. 

Discover said the change may require some merchants to change their Discover point-of-sales systems since pens and electronic signature screens won’t be necessary. Read more…

More about Security, Discover, Biometrics, Credit Cards, and Financial Services

Business

MasterCard will finally stop forcing people to sign receipts

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“Can I get you to sign on the bottom?” “Your signature, please?” “Sign here.”

Those prompts that you’ve heard forever after shopping, eating out, and spending money are coming to an end.

MasterCard is doing away with signatures on purchases starting in April.

It’s the end of an era. The future signature-less payment process stemmed from company research showing that customers wanted to speed up time at the register.

Requiring a signature had become antiquated with so many other security features such as chips, biometrics, and digital payment platforms. Some new MasterCard credit cards have a fingerprint sensor embedded in the card. When paying, cardholders just touch the sensor while holding the card as they dip it into the terminal.  Read more…

More about Cybersecurity, Nostalgia, Mastercard, Biometrics, and Credit Cards

Business

Apple opens up about Face ID’s security

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Since Apple first officially announced Face ID on September 12, security researchers and privacy experts have pressed the company to reveal more details about just how the face-scanning technology works. Well, the tech giant finally obliged — releasing a six-page overview detailing the ins and outs of the system set to replace Touch ID on the forthcoming iPhone X. 

The document confirms some of what we already knew, like the fact that data gleaned from face scans is stored locally on the device. It also cops to the reality that the tech-powering Face ID may not be as all-powerful as Apple first suggested.  Read more…

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Business

The iPhone 8 might be smart enough to know when to shut up

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The iPhone 8 is expected to have a front-facing biometric sensor for scanning your face. Its most obvious use seems likely to be scanning your face to verify your identity to unlock the phone, but it might also help suppress one of the most grating parts of the iPhone experience.

This week’s bountiful HomePod firmware leak was loaded with info (including what the iPhone 8 will likely look like). Developers are still mining the code for details, and one of them suggests a new 3D sensor on the front could identify when you’re using the phone and mute those annoying notification sounds. 

That means you won’t have to take the pesky extra step of turning off your phone to silent every time you use it — unless you’re one of those people who just wants to watch the world burn as your text conversation ding ding dings for everyone else to hear, even though you’re watching the messages come in to you in real time.    Read more…

More about Apple, Notifications, Biometrics, Iphone 8, and Tech

Lifestyle

Hackers reportedly bypass Samsung Galaxy S8’s ‘airtight’ iris scanner

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Hackers have once again proved there’s no such thing as true security for your phone.

Researchers at the Chaos Computer Club (via Motherboard) claim to have bypassed the iris scanner on Samsung’s Galaxy S8 using a simple photo of a person’s iris and an ordinary contact lens.

Samsung’s “airtight” (the company’s word, not mine) iris scanner is included on the Galaxy S8 as an alternative form of biometric security in addition to the built-in fingerprint sensor.

Galaxy S8 users can choose to set up the iris scanner, which is more secure than the face recognition, to unlock the phone or authenticate Samsung Pay mobile payments.  Read more…

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Lifestyle

Here’s why you shouldn’t rush out and update your Google Pixel or Nexus

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New software updates are great for your phone — they patch security holes and bugs and add new features — except when they break a core feature, like your phone’s fingerprint sensor.

According to multiple reports on Google’s Pixel and Nexus product forums, the latest Android 7.1.2 Nougat update cripples the fingerprint sensor on the Pixel/Pixel XL and Nexus 5X/Nexus 6P, rendering them useless.

Users on both phone forums are reporting that they’re unable to unlock their phones with the rear-positioned fingerprint sensors. 

The update also prevents users from registering new fingerprints as well; deleting old fingerprints doesn’t seem to fix the issues. Read more…

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Design

11 technologies to watch in 2017

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Much like The Force, technology surrounds us, penetrates us and binds together our galaxy, which is why it’s so hard to identify which technologies might have the most significant impact in the coming year.

What we can count on in 2017 is that a myriad of innovations will arrive. Some will alter our lives with the tectonic force of an earthquake. Other will sneak in quietly and change things in gentle, almost unnoticeable ways. My goal here is to focus on the technologies that will undergo the most significant change and have the biggest impact on our lives. Read more…

More about Biometrics, Robotics, Exoskeleton, Transportation, and Self Driving Cars