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Commerce & consumer affairs spokesman Andrew Bayly says National looking at use of biometrics, potentially the blockchain, to simplify AML verification requirements

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Commerce & consumer affairs spokesman Andrew Bayly says National looking at use of biometrics, potentially the blockchain, to simplify AML verification requirements

The National Party wants to simplify anti-money laundering (AML) requirements so people don't have to repeatedly go back and verify information that has already been verified, the party's commerce and consumer affairs spokesman Andrew Bayly says.

National on Friday released what it calls a 100-point plan to rebuild the economy. Listed at number 50 is; "Develop protocols to allow simplified verification to comply with anti-money laundering requirements."

Bayly told he has had a working group of eight to 10 people looking into this for about 10 months comprising lawyers, accountants, "technical people," and bankers. The use of biometric authentication is in the mix, as potentially is the blockchain.

"Ideally we want to get to a stage where all we need to know is that Gareth has been verified and he's kosher," Bayly says.

"We've got so many people trying to do the same AML checks. And what we don't have is a basis across the sector to say that 'Gareth has been checked and you don't need to keep asking the same question.' Obviously as new things arise you ask them those questions, but you don't have to go back over history," says Bayly. "So that's the utopia."

He notes the likes of lawyers, accountants, bankers, financial advisers, real estate agents and stock brokers, all have to go through the same processes which is "a massive cost."

"So we want to try and simplify it," says Bayly.

He points to a trend towards the use of biometric data.

"Ringing up and saying to someone 'are you Gareth Vaughan, when did your mother die and what was her maiden name,' is one form of checking. The other much better form is biometric data. We've got to get a good biometric framework, so that's customer identity as it's called," Bayly says.

The second step is finding a system where the data can be shared.

"How do you set up a trust structure where multiple individuals or entities who've been accredited can access that data? People talk about blockchain technology so there's a possibility of doing blockchain," says Bayly.

He notes the Government's RealMe verified identity service that can be used to access government online services. But says others are also good at doing this, pointing to fintech Akahu, which has "a system where they can act as an intermediary."

"We're looking at what framework would you put in place and what protocols would you put around that?" Bayly says.

*Also see; A stocktake on the anti-money laundering & countering terrorist financing law at 10 with barrister Gary Hughes in a recent episode of our Of Interest podcast.

*This article was first published in our email for paying subscribers. See here for more details and how to subscribe.

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The state should provide a biometric verification service containing iris, fingerprint, facial recognition etc. At least then you have state protections and support for this. Match it to Driver's License and Passport etc.

Build an app for across the public service and private sector to let people identify off biometrics. Link to Real Me and let users control who can see what. It would resolve so many issues. Make private companies pay to access the service via the API or app.

Private companies already provide this stuff and have very few checks on what they can share. At least if it was state issued, you could regulate it through courts and so on. Auror (anti theft software) profiles people constantly in stores, identifies them against social media and uses that context to inform police about suspected crime. The blatant privacy problem there is never even discussed publicly.



Is that you Xi?



🤮 Words fail me !


It's all good, until the state puts you on a list for wrongthink.


Just like the UK banks!


This might cut out a lot of the people who would be buying our two million dollar houses though.


It is hard to overstate how bad an idea biometric data is. 

At present we have a system where when a company or government dept gets hacked (and they will), its a shag and hassle, but i can change my email and passwords...

What happens when my biometric data hits the dark web.  

Added to this, AI is already making voice and photo's that are fooling people and systems.  The arms race is on, and yet this team of 8-10 working on this stuff for 10 months come up with this rubbish.

The concept of KYC sharing is a good one, just think about what data and how you share it.  Zero Knowledge proofs on blockchains are the most promising.