How Can Your Identity Business Create the RIGHT Written Content?

Does your identity business provide biometric or non-biometric products and services that use finger, face, iris, DNA, voice, government documents, geolocation, or other factors or modalities?

Does your identity business need written content, such as blog posts, case studies, data sheets, proposal text, social media posts, or white papers?

How can your identity business create the right written content?

For the answer, click here.

Updates, updates, updates…

When keeping your websites updated, I advise you to do as I say, not as I do. Two of my websites were significantly out of date and needed hurried corrections.

Designed by Freepik.

I realized this morning that the “My Experience” page on my jebredcal website was roughly a year out of date, so I hurriedly added content to it. Now the page will turn up in searches for the acronym “ABM” (OK, maybe not on the first page of the search results).

Then I had to return to this website to make some hurried updates, since my April 2022 prohibition on taking certain types of work is no longer in effect as of June 2023. Hence, my home page, my “What I Do” page, and (obviously) my identity page are all corrected.

Oh yeah, I updated my Calendly availability hours also. Which is good, because I already have two meetings booked this week.

Which reminds me…if you need Bredemarket’s services:

My…Umm..Opportunity is YOUR Opportunity

A little over a year ago, Bredemarket announced two changes in my business scope and business hours. I stopped accepting work from clients who marketed systems to identify individuals, and I reduced my business hours to Saturday mornings only.

Generated at craiyon.com.

I had to change my business scope and business hours. On May 9, 2022, I started a full-time position with a company in the identity industry, which meant that I couldn’t consult on weekdays and couldn’t consult on identity projects.

But things change.

As of May 31, 2023, I will no longer be employed at my day job.

Which is my misfortune…um…opportunity.

Generated at craiyon.com.

Has Bredemarket changed its business scope and business hours a second time?

Yes.

As of June 1, 2023:

  • If you need a consultant for marketing or proposal work, and your company is involved in the identification of individuals, Bredemarket can accept the work.
  • If you need a consultant who can meet with you during normal business hours, Bredemarket can accept the work.

So what?

My…um…opportunity is your opportunity.

Now that I can expand my business scope and business hours again, you can take advantage of my extensive marketing expertise, including deep experience in the identity industry.

This means you can obtain quickly-generated and expert content with an agreed-upon focus.

This means you can get content that increases your revenue.

What kind of content?

Blog posts, case studies and testimonials, proposals and proposal text, white papers, and many other types of content.

How about e-books?

Yes I also write e-books.

These two e-books explain (a) how Bredemarket starts a project with you, and (b) how Bredemarket has helped other businesses over the years.

How can I find out more information about Bredemarket?

Contact me.

But wait…what if Bredemarket changes its business hours and business scope a THIRD time?

I very well could change Bredemarket’s business hours/scope again.

Maybe I’ll find a new full-time position in a couple of weeks, and I’ll again have to reduce hours and scope.

Which basically means that you have to ACT QUICKLY to ensure you can reserve my services.

(See “how to create a sense of urgency.”)

Generated at craiyon.com.

Ajay Patel, Sarah Kane, and the Mob

Last week I enjoyed a three-day vacation from my day job, so I had the opportunity to join SMA’s weekly Town Hall. (I am still officially an SMA Associate, on inactive status.)

SMA Town Halls usually begin with an “Art Talk,” and last week’s Art Talk focused on art in Las Vegas.

Coincidentally, I was leaving for Las Vegas later that day.

Sarah Kane’s presentation last week covered the Mob Museum.

Coincidentally, I had reservations to visit that museum on Saturday.

When I shared this in the Town Hall chat, Ajay Patel requested that I share pictures of my visit. Here they are.

This parking lot wall depicts the history of Las Vegas. Kane had nicer pictures in her Art Talk; cars obscured much of the wall when I visited.

The museum is located in a historic Post Office building that also hosted a courtroom. More on that later.

Mugshots, early 20th century.

This wall was the backdrop from Chicago’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929. The bricks were subsequently relocated to Las Vegas.

If you don’t know why this ticket from the 1919 World Series is in the National Mob Museum, look it up.

Lest you think that all mob activity was centered in Chicago, there may have been a little mob activity in Las Vegas also. Some of the casinos from the 1940s and later had questionable financing (and questionable accounting), and the aforementioned courtroom was the site of hearings chaired by Senator Estes Kefauver.

If you’ve worked for a couple of facial recognition/video surveillance companies (the I and N companies come to mind), you’ve probably compared a picture from an early Whitey Bulger arrest to a later picture of Bulger. He ended up in prison in his later years, and did not survive the experience.

El Chapo was in a Mexican prison but escaped. He’s in SuperMax now.

I finished my visit to the Mob Museum in a speakeasy. Special medicines may or may not have been consumed. Sorry, no pictures of any alleged consumption.

Two companies that can provide friction ridge/face marketing and writing services, now that Bredemarket won’t

I recently announced a change in business scope for my DBA Bredemarket. Specifically, Bredemarket will no longer accept client work for solutions that identify individuals using (a) friction ridges (including fingerprints and palm prints) and/or (b) faces.

This impacts some companies that previously did business with me, and can potentially impact other companies that want to do business with me. If you are one of these companies, I am no longer available.

Fingerprint evidence
From https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.500-290e3.pdf (a/k/a “leisure reading for biometric system professionals”).

Since Bredemarket will no longer help you with your friction ridge/face marketing and writing needs, who will? Who has the expertise to help you? I have two suggestions.

Tandem Technical Writing

Do you need someon who is not only an excellent communicator, but also knows the ins and outs of AFIS and ABIS systems? Turn to Tandem Technical Writing LLC.

I first met Laurel Jew back in 1995 when I started consulting with, and then working for, Printrak. In fact, I joined Printrak when Laurel went on maternity leave. (I was one of two people who joined Printrak at that time. As I’ve previously noted, Laurel needed two people to replace her.)

Laurel worked for Printrak and its predecessor De La Rue Printrak for several years in its proposals organization.

Today, her biometric and communication experience is available to you. Tandem Technical Writing provides its clients with “15 years of proposal writing and biometrics technology background with high win %.”

Why does this matter to you? Because Laurel not only understands your biometric business, but also understands how to communicate to your biometric clients. Not many people can do both, so Laurel is a rarity in this industry.

The Tandem Technical Writing website is here.

To schedule a consultation, click here.

Applied Forensic Services

Perhaps your needs are more technical. Maybe you need someone who is a certified forensics professional, and who has also implemented many biometric systems. If that is your need, then you will want to consider Applied Forensic Services LLC.

I met Mike French in 2009 when Safran acquired Motorola’s biometric business and merged it into its U.S. subsidiary Sagem Morpho, creating MorphoTrak (“Morpho” + “Printrak”). I worked with him at MorphoTrak and IDEMIA until 2020.

Unlike me, Mike is a true forensic professional. (See his LinkedIn profile.) Back in 1994, when I was still learning to spell AFIS, Mike joined the latent print unit at the King County (Washington) Sheriff’s Office, where he spent over a decade before joining Sagem Morpho. He is an IAI-certified Latent Print Examiner, an IEEE-certified Biometric Professional, and an active participant in IAI and other forensic activities. I’ve previously referenced his advice on why agencies should conduct their own AFIS benchmarks.

Why does this matter to you? Because Mike’s consultancy, Applied Forensic Services, can provide expert advice on biometric procurements and implementation, ensuring that you get the biometric system that addresses your needs.

Applied Forensic Services offers the following consulting services:

The Applied Forensic Services website is here.

To schedule a consultation, click here.

Yes, there are others

There are other companies that can help you with friction ridge and face marketing, writing, and consultation services.

I specifically mention these two because I have worked with their principals both as an employee during my Printrak-to-IDEMIA years, and as a sole proprietor during my Bredemarket years. Laurel and Mike are both knowledgeable, dedicated, and can add value to your firm or agency.

And, unlike some experienced friction ridge and face experts, Laurel and Mike are still working and have not retired. (“Where have you gone, Peter Higgins…”)

Bredemarket announcement: change in business scope

Effective immediately:

  1. Bredemarket does not accept client work for solutions that identify individuals using (a) friction ridges (including fingerprints and palm prints) and/or (b) faces.
  2. Bredemarket does not accept client work for solutions that identify individuals using secure documents, such as driver’s licenses or passports. 

Pangiam/Trueface: when version 1.0 of the SDK is the REVISED version

After a lack of appearances in the Bredemarket blog (none since November), Pangiam is making an appearance again, based on announcements by Biometric Update and Trueface itself about a new revision of the Trueface facial recognition SDK.

The new revision includes a number of features, including a new model for masked faces and some technical improvements.

So what is this revision called?

Version 1.0.

“Wait,” you’re asking yourself. “Version 1.0 is the NEW version? It sounds like the ORIGINAL version. Shouldn’t the new version be 2.0?”

Well, no. The original version was V0. Trueface is now ready to release V1.

Well, almost ready.

If you go to the Trueface SDK reference page, you’ll see that Trueface releases are categorized as “alpha,” “beta,” and “stable.”

  • When I viewed the page on the afternoon of March 28, the latest stable release was 0.33.14634.
  • If you want to use the version 1.0 that is being “introduced” (Pangiam’s word), you have to go to the latest beta release, which was 1.0.16286.
  • And if you want to go bleeding edge alpha, you can get release 1.1.16419.

(Again, this was on the afternoon of March 28, and may change by the time you read this.)

Now most biometric vendors don’t expose this much detail about their software. Some don’t even provide any release information, especially for products with long delivery times where the version that a customer will eventually get doesn’t even have locked-down requirements yet. But Pangiam has chosen to provide this level of detail.

Oh, and Pangiam/Trueface also actively participates in the ongoing NIST FRVT testing. Information on the 1:1 performance of the trueface-003 algorithm can be found here. Information on the 1:N performance of the trueface-000 algorithm can be found here.

Clearview AI and Ukraine: when a company pursues the interests of its home country

In the security world (biometrics, access control, cybersecurity, and other areas), there has been a lot of discussion about the national origins and/or ownership of various security products.

If a particular product originates in country X, then will the government of country X require the product to serve the national interests of country X?

You see the effects of this everywhere:

  • FOCI mitigation at U.S. subsidiaries of foreign countries.
  • Marketing materials that state that a particular product is the best “among Western vendors” (which may or may not explain why this is important – see the second caveat here for examples).
  • European Union regulations that serve to diminish American influence.
  • The policies of certain countries (China, Iran, North Korea, Russia) that serve to eliminate American influence entirely.

Clearview AI, Ukraine, and Russia

Clearview AI is a U.S. company, but its relationship with the U.S. government is, in Facebook terms, “complicated.”

It’s complicated primarily because “the U.S. government” consists of a number of governments at the federal, state, and local level, and a number of agencies within these governments that sometimes work at cross-purposes with one another. Some U.S. government agencies love Clearview AI, while others hate it.

However, according to Reuters, the Ukrainian government can be counted in the list of governments that love Clearview AI.

Ukraine is receiving free access to Clearview AI’s powerful search engine for faces, letting authorities potentially vet people of interest at checkpoints, among other uses, added Lee Wolosky, an adviser to Clearview and former diplomat under U.S. presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

From https://www.reuters.com/technology/exclusive-ukraine-has-started-using-clearview-ais-facial-recognition-during-war-2022-03-13/

But before you assume that Clearview is just helping anybody, Reuters also pointed this out.

Clearview said it had not offered the technology to Russia…

From https://www.reuters.com/technology/exclusive-ukraine-has-started-using-clearview-ais-facial-recognition-during-war-2022-03-13/

Here is an example of a company that is supporting certain foreign policies of the government in which it resides. Depending upon your own national origin, you may love this example, or you may hate this example.

Of course, even some who support U.S. actions in Ukraine may not support Clearview AI’s actions in Ukraine. But that’s another story.

Why I find “race recognition” problematic

Let me start by admitting to my, um, bias.

For the last twenty-five plus years, I have been involved in the identification of individuals.

  • Who is the person who is going through the arrest/booking process?
  • Who is the person who claims to be entitled to welfare benefits?
  • Who is the person who wants to enter the country?
  • Who is the person who is exiting the country? (Yes, I remember the visa overstay issue.)
  • Who is the person who wants to enter the computer room in the office building?
  • Who is the person who is applying for a driver’s license or passport?
  • Who is the person who wants to enter the sports stadium or concert arena?

These are just a few of the problems that I have worked on solving over the last twenty-five plus years, all of which are tied to individual identity.

From that perspective, I really don’t care if the person entering the stadium/computer room/country whatever is female, mixed race, Muslim, left handed, or whatever. I just want to know if this is the individual that he/she/they claims to be.

If you’ve never seen the list of potential candidates generated by a top-tier facial recognition program, you may be shocked when you see it. That list of candidates may include white men, Asian women, and everything in between. “Well, that’s wrong,” you may say to yourself. “How can the results include people of multiple races and genders?” It’s because the algorithm doesn’t care about race and gender. Think about it – what if a victim THINKS that he was attacked by a white male, but the attacker was really an Asian female? Identify the individual, not the race or gender.

From http://gendershades.org/. Yes, http.

So when Gender Shades came out, stating that IBM, Microsoft, and Face++ AI services had problems recognizing the gender of people, especially those with darker skin, my reaction was “so what”?

(Note that this is a different question than the question of how an algorithm identifies individuals of different genders, races, and ages, which has been addressed by NIST.)

But some people persist in addressing biometrics’ “failure” to properly identify genders and races, ignoring the fact that both gender and race have become social rather than biological constructs. Is the Olympian Jenner male, female, or something else? What are your personal pronouns? What happens when a mixed race person identifies with one race rather than another? And aren’t we all mixed race anyway?

The latest study from AlBdairi et al on computational methods for ethnicity identification

But there’s still a great interest in “race recognition.”

As Jim Nash of Biometric Update notes, a team of scientists has published an open access paper entitled “Face Recognition Based on Deep Learning and FPGA for Ethnicity Identification.”

The authors claim that their study is “the first image collection gathered specifically to address the ethnicity identification problem.”

But what of the NIST demographic study cited above? you may ask. The NIST study did NOT have the races of the individuals, but used the individuals’ country of origin as a proxy for race. Then again, it is possible that this study may have done the same thing.

Despite the fact that there are several large-scale face image databases accessible online, none of these databases are acceptable for the purpose of the conducted study in our research. Furthermore, 3141 photographs were gathered from a variety of sources. Specifically, 1081, 1021, and 1039 Chinese, Pakistani, and Russian face photos were gathered, respectively. 

From https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3417/12/5/2605/htm

There was no mention of whether any of the Chinese face photos were Caucasian…or how the researchers could tell that they were Caucasian.

Anyway, if you’re interested in the science behind using Deep Convolutional Neural Network (DCNN) models and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) to identify ethnicity, read the paper. Or skip to the results.

The experimental results reported that our model outperformed all the methods of state-of-the-art, achieving an accuracy and F1 score value of 96.9 percent and 94.6 percent, respectively.

From https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3417/12/5/2605/htm

But this doesn’t answer the question I raised earlier.

Three possible use cases for race recognition, two of which are problematic

Why would anyone want to identify ethnicity or engage in race recognition? Jim Nash of Biometric Update summarizes three possible use cases for doing this, which I will address one by one. TL;DR two of the use cases are problematic.

The code…could find a role in the growing field of race-targeted medical treatments and pharmacogenomics, where accurately ascertaining race could provide better care.

From https://www.biometricupdate.com/202203/identifying-ethnicity-problematic-so-scientists-write-race-recognition-code

Note that in this case race IS a biological construct, so perhaps its use is valid here. Regardless of how Nkechi Amare Diallo (formerly Rachel Dolezal) self-identifies, she’s not a targeted candidate for sickle cell treatment.

It could be helpful to some employers. Such as system could “use racial information to offer employers ethnically convenient services, then preventing the offending risk present in many cultural taboos.”

From https://www.biometricupdate.com/202203/identifying-ethnicity-problematic-so-scientists-write-race-recognition-code

This is where things start to get problematic. Using Diallo as an example, race recognition software based upon her biological race would see no problem in offering her fried chicken and watermelon at a corporate function, but Diallo might have some different feelings about this. And it’s not guaranteed that ALL members of a particular race are affected by particular cultural taboos. (The text below, from 1965, was slightly edited.)

Godfrey Cambridge. Retrieved from https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0131387/

People used to think of (blacks) as going around with fried chicken in a paper bag, (Godfrey) Cambridge says. But things have changed. “Now,” he says, “we carry an attache case—with fried chicken in it. We ain’t going to give up everything just to get along with you people.”

From http://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,839260,00.html. Yes, http.

While some employees may be pleased that they receive a particular type of treatment because of their biological race, others may not be pleased at all.

So let’s move on to Nash’s third use case for race recognition. Hold on to your seats.

Ultimately, however, the broadest potential mission for race recognition would be in security — at border stations and deployed in public-access areas, according to the report.

From https://www.biometricupdate.com/202203/identifying-ethnicity-problematic-so-scientists-write-race-recognition-code

I thought we had settled this over 20 years ago. Although we really didn’t.

From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rkmIAnfDVY

While President Bush was primarily speaking about religious affiliation, he also made the point that we should not judge individuals based upon the color of their skin.

Yet we do.

If I may again return to our current sad reality, there have been allegations that Africans encountered segregation and substandard treatment when trying to flee Ukraine. (When speaking of “African,” note that concerns were raised by officials from Gabon, Ghana, and Kenya – not from Egypt, Libya, or Tunisia. Then again, Indian students also complained of substandard treatment.)

Many people in the United States and western Europe would find it totally unacceptable to treat people at borders and public areas differently by race.

Do we want to encourage this use case?

And if you feel that we should, please provide your picture. I want to see if your concerns are worthy of consideration.

Who is THE #1 NIST facial recognition vendor?

As I’ve noted before, there are a number of facial recognition companies that claim to be the #1 NIST facial recognition vendor. I’m here to help you cut through the clutter so you know who the #1 NIST facial recognition vendor truly is.

You can confirm this information yourself by visiting the NIST FRVT 1:1 Verification and FRVT 1:N Identification pages. FRVT, by the way, stands for “Face Recognition Vendor Test.”

So I can announce to you that as of February 23, 2022, the #1 NIST facial recognition vendor is Cloudwalk.

And Sensetime.

And Beihang University ERCACAT.

And Cubox.

And Adera.

And Chosun University.

And iSAP Solution Corporation.

And Bitmain.

And Visage Techologies.

And Expasoft LLC.

And Paravision.

And NEC.

And Ptakuratsatu.

And Ayonix.

And Rank One.

And Dermalog.

And Innovatrics.

Now how can ALL dozen-plus of these entities be number 1?

Easy.

The NIST 1:1 and 1:N tests include many different accuracy and performance measurements, and each of the entities listed above placed #1 in at least one of these measurements. And all of the databases, database sizes, and use cases measure very different things.

Transportation Security Administration Checkpoint at John Glenn Columbus International Airport. By Michael Ball – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77279000

For example:

  • Visage Technologies was #1 in the 1:1 performance measurements for template generation time, in milliseconds, for 480×720 and 960×1440 data.
  • Meanwhile, NEC was #1 in the 1:N Identification (T>0) accuracy measurements for gallery border, probe border with a delta T greater than or equal to 10 years, N = 1.6 million.
  • Not to be confused with the 1:N Identification (T>0) accuracy measurements for gallery visa, probe border, N = 1.6 million, where the #1 algorithm was not from NEC.
  • And not to be confused with the 1:N Investigation (R = 1, T = 0) accuracy measurements for gallery border, probe border with a delta T greater than or equal to 10 years, N = 1.6 million, where the #1 algorithm was not from NEC.

And can I add a few more caveats?

First caveat: Since all of these tests are ongoing tests, you can probably find a slightly different set of #1 algorithms if you look at the January data, and you will probably find a slightly different set of #1 algorithms when the March data is available.

Second caveat: These are the results for the unqualified #1 NIST categories. You can add qualifiers, such as “#1 non-Chinese vendor” or “#1 western vendor” or “#1 U.S. vendor” to vault a particular algorithm to the top of the list.

Third caveat: You can add even more qualifiers, such as “within the top five NIST vendors” and (one I admit to having used before) “a top tier NIST vendor in multiple categories.” This can mean whatever you want it to mean. (As can “dramatically improved” algorithm, which may mean that you vaulted from position #300 to position #200 in one of the categories.)

Fourth caveat: Even if a particular NIST test applies to your specific use case, #1 performance on a NIST test does not guarantee that a facial recognition system supplied by that entity will yield #1 performance with your database in your environment. The algorithm sent to NIST may or may not make it into a production system. And even if it does, performance against a particular NIST test database may not yield the same results as performance against a Rhode Island criminal database, a French driver’s license database, or a Nigerian passport database. For more information on this, see Mike French’s LinkedIn article “Why agencies should conduct their own AFIS benchmarks rather than relying on others.”

So now that you know who the #1 NIST facial recognition vendor is, do you feel more knowledgeable?

Although I’ll grant that a NIST accuracy or performance claim is better than some other claims, such as self-test results.