Christian Schnedler, Vice President, Strategy
Almost two years ago, a private equity group in New York City purchased the Morpho Identity business from the Safran Group, a large defense contractor with a subsidiary focused on identity intelligence. Subsequently, the equity group merged Morpho with Oberthur—a provider of digital identity and machine-to-machine security solutions—to form IDEMIA. Built on the foundation of two well-established behemoths in the identity and security space, IDEMIA combines the best of digital and physical versions of identity. “IDEMIA is an identity-driven conglomerate. Everything we do is about allowing individuals to establish who they are—both in-person as well as digitally—and protect their information online,” states Christian Schnedler, vice president of strategy at IDEMIA National Security Solutions.
IDEMIA’s technology that has been sourced from Oberthur produces smart, embedded chips and SIM cards along with enabling machine-to-machine communication using innovative IoT devices. These capabilities help individuals establish their identity through secure communication or transactions on their payment cards. On the other hand, Morpho’s identity technology focuses on recognizing people based on the credentials they carry or various other physical characteristics including biometric signatures. This includes identifying who someone is via fingerprint, iris, or facial recognition, as well as the scars or tattoos on their body. “Together, our technology comprises everything from establishing who you are through telecommunications and payment processing to proving your identity based on the documents that you carry in your pocket or your appearance in the flesh,” adds Schnedler.
With more than 15,000 employees and billions of dollars of annual turnover, the conglomerated IDEMIA runs some of the largest biometric databases in the world, which includes delivering fingerprint and iris identification for India’s National ID Program.
The group’s Foreign Ownership, Control, or Influence (FOCI) mitigated subsidiary, IDEMIA National Security Solutions (NSS), focuses purely on the security communities of the U.S. Federal Government. IDEMIA NSS concentrates on the rich intellectual property that the parent IDEMIA produces globally in the identity and security space to best meet the specific needs of the U.S. Federal clients. The company provides advanced solutions for national security, law enforcement, and intelligence that include credential and biometric identification, frictionless technology for access control, as well as predictive, preventive, and investigative video analytics.
In the core credentialing space, IDEMIA NSS supplies access control cards and several other identity solutions to high-profile federal agencies where performance is critical and national security is at stake. On the biometrics front, the company is capable of scanning fingerprints and images collected by law enforcement agencies, from both domestic as well as global crime scenes, searching them across known repositories of suspects and perpetrators. IDEMIA NSS further bolsters its credentialing and large-scale biometrics offerings with situational awareness and video analytics. On account of the continuous proliferation and evolution of video sensors, federal security organizations are expected to respond more accurately to crime and terror events. IDEMIA NSS supports these agencies by facilitating post-event video analysis and real-time face recognition along with processing large volumes of heterogeneous surveillance data in minutes and streamlining it to pinpoint faces, license plates, and more.
The effectiveness of IDEMIA NSS’ solutions can be illustrated by how the company helped a law enforcement agency track down known human traffickers in a particular area. The company’s identity technology was deployed with the agency’s camera sensors to aggregate and analyze video feeds from across the region. IDEMIA NSS then performed its identity verification process and provided visual responses to the client, thus helping them arrest the criminals. The company now looks forward to broadening its capabilities in the video analytics space. “We see video as one of many IoT sensors which, in aggregate, help contextualize information and provide actionable intelligence to law enforcement. This same concept can be applied to facilities via biometrics and a universal identity document that enables the frictionless flow of employees, contractors, and visitors throughout the facility, continuing with their digital personas online,” concludes Schnedler.