iProov Harding Test

iProov Safeguards for People with Photosensitive Epilepsy

31 May 2021

If you’ve ever used iProov Genuine Presence Assurance® to verify your identity online, you may recall the sequence of colored lights that is used to check you are the right person, a real person, and that you are authenticating right now. This is iProov’s patented Flashmark™ technology.

Why does iProov use colored light?

The brief sequence of colors on the screen assures your security because it creates a one-time biometric that can’t be copied. If someone tried to steal a video of your face or create a spoof of an iProov verification so they could set up an account in your name (or get access to one of your existing accounts) that person could not recreate the exact sequence of colors because the sequence changes every time.

The sequence of colors that each user sees when they authenticate themselves with Genuine Presence Assurance is designed to be brief and is sometimes described as ‘flashing’.

How does iProov comply with regulations for photosensitive epilepsy?

Around 3% of people with epilepsy have photosensitive epilepsy. Photosensitive epilepsy can be triggered by certain rates of flashing lights, or by contrasting light and dark patterns, which in some cases can lead to seizures. Such flashing lights are common in everyday life – on TV shows, video games, web pages and in strobe lighting used in nightclubs, music concerts, sporting events and public performances. For this reason, international standards have been developed to keep people safe in these circumstances.

Safety has always been a priority at iProov. Since our earliest days in 2012, we have focused on keeping Flashmark safe for those who suffer from photosensitive epilepsy. We do this firstly by complying with regulations worldwide, and secondly by testing our technology to ensure it meets the regulations on safe flash rates.

  • There are many national and international regulations, which generally apply the same standards. We have listed some of them below.
  • Worldwide, these regulations allow screen content to flash at 3 flashes per second or less.
  • iProov’s Flashmark is locked to change colors at less than 2.86 flashes per second (so less than the 3 flashes permitted).
  • iProov has been regularly tested and was most recently confirmed as compliant with regulations in April 2021, following the completion of the Harding test.
  • The Harding Flash and Pattern Analyser was developed by Cambridge Research Systems to analyze video for flashing and patterns which can cause seizures in epilepsy sufferers. Television programs in various countries now have to pass this test prior to being broadcast in order to comply with national and ITU regulations.
  • National and international regulations governing photosensitive epilepsy include:
    – Web content and video game producers follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Version 2.0
    – Television regulators worldwide, such as Ofcom in the UK, use the standards of the ITU
    – The American Rehabilitation Act includes provision for electronic and IT services to be accessible to people with disabilities (Section 508)

If you would like to know more about this subject, please get in touch at contact@iproov.com

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