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russia

From Russia with Love – How Do Russians Acquire an Identity? – Part 1

The 1963 James Bond action thriller, “From Russia with Love”, starring Sean Connery, see Bond willingly falls into an assassination ploy involving a naive Russian beauty in order to retrieve a Soviet encryption device that was stolen by SPECTRE.  The Lektor decoder, at it was called, was a highLektor decoderly sought after decoding machine, used by Soviet Intelligence to de-compile coded and highly sensitive documents.

Decrypting a Russian name can be highly complex and sought after as well, especially in the electronic identity space.  Let’s examine exactly how and what is in a Russian name – one of the verifiable attributes of a digital identity.

A Russian begins to acquire an identity before he or she is ever born. The first element of a Russian’s identity is his or her name – two parts of the name are determined before the Russian is even born. First there is the family name (фамилия) which is taken from the father. At marriage, Russian women take their husband’s last name. The last name, if it is a Russian last name, is changed to show gender. Russian male last names ending in -skij (ский) will change to -skaya (ская) for a woman. Russian last names ending in a consonant for men will add an a or ya (а/я) to show the female version of the name. If a family name is not Russian (Jewish, Estonian, German, Latvian, etc.) then the last name will not changeThe second part of a Russian’s name determined before birth is the middle name or patronymic (отчество) this name is also derived from the father and translates as son of or daughter of. All Russians who share the same father will have the same patronymic, again changed to show gender. This name is derived from the father’s name with the addition of a suffix -ovich/evich (ович/евич) for sons and –ovna/evna (овна/евна) for girls.

The first name that a Russian gets is chosen entirely by the parents or family and can show particular traditions within a family. For example, if a family is very religious, they may choose to name their child after the saint for that day on the Russian Orthodox calendar. Russians may also name the child after significant family members, writers, people of renown in Russian culture, or after favorite russian nesting doll musicians. Some Russians who are more western choose to give their children more European names like Rutger or Margarita. From the first name, many diminutive or nicknames can be formed. These are usually only used within family or friend groups. Male and female names that have the same roots will form the same diminutives. For example, a man named Evgenij (Евгений) and a woman named Evgeniya (Евгения) will both have the same basic diminutive of Zhenya (Женя). This name can then be further diminutivized by adding further suffixes and creating names like Zhenochka (Женочка).

The Global Data Consortium’s Worldview platform has one of the most unique and privileged access solutions to identify Russian individuals.  As with the Lektor decoder, it can be one of the most sought after solutions to help fight fraud in the international digital world.

Be on the lookout for Part 2 of our series – How Do Russians Acquire an Identity?

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Singapore: “Chili Crab” or ID?

The island nation of Singapore is known for many things.  Specifically, it is a “melting pot” of sorts including a mixture of cultures, languages, alphabets and nationalities. The city state is known for its cuisine, especially for its famous dish, the “chili crab.” Just like the food, the people are a fusion of all who come to reside there – Chinese, Indonesian, Malaysian and the list goes on.  One thing is for certain, the needs for identity verification are as dynamic and diverse as the cultures.  For those of you looking for the best places for “chili crab” in Singapore you can look here.

Chili Crab

Chili Crab

First, let’s take the Singapore national ID card.  The ID card represents the melding of peoples in the way it represents individual’s identity attributes.  Document validation, to verify identity, will tell you accurately that the format is correct (but not necessarily verified).  When a National ID/Passport scan or image is sent to the Document Validation provider they perform an automated analysis checking the validity of the information on the document ensuring the information makes sense and goes together, and that none of the images or data is forged. A Document Validation service provider may check the following data points:

  • Full Name
  • Nationality
  • Date of Birth
  • Photo
  • Gender
  • Document Expiration Date
  • Passport MRZ (Machine Readable Zone – two 44 character rows that convey the data on the Passport)
  • In the case of Singapore, the national ID includes elements very like a passport given the nature of the multicultural country.
  • Full Name – English then Native
  • Race – Example Chinese
  • Birth Date
  • Country of Birth – China, Singapore

Document Validation providers may also check characteristics of a document to ensure it has not been forged or altered.   This can include checking the background print, micro text, whether the document photo has been replaced, whether the fonts used are consistent and correct, and other authenticity checks.  These checks generally require manual review and often supplement automatic checks of the document data points.

However, verifying the data associated with a National ID against trusted sources is a different matter. For example, let’s look at one of the elements on the National Registration Identity Card – race. Surprisingly, Singapore allows TWO RACES in accordance with their race diversity disclosures.  

Front

Front

This is called “double-barreling” which applies to all babies born as of January 1st, 2011.  The ID card represents the melding of peoples in the way it represents race.

Here’s how it works.  Your race must be a logical combo of your mom’s and dad’s races. e.g. Malay-German or Malay-Caucasian. The race in front is regarded as the dominant one e.g. in the above example, “Malay” is the dominant race.  All siblings from the same parents must have the same race, if the kid gets married to someone else of mixed parentage, only the dominant race counts for both.

Next, let’s examine the card and how it represents the melding of peoples in the way it represents names. If you are of origin in another country – perhaps China, but have a Latin English name you will see both the English name and the Chinese name listed on the card in the order – English to Chinese. In other cases, the name may only be the traditional Chinese name, and it can vary and exposes a challenge of using only document verification.  

Name and race are two examples of the challenges of validating identity using document checks without electronic identity verification.

 The best solution is to combine document validation/authentication (Doc check) and electronic identity verification (eIDV).  This both checks the characteristics of the document and the accuracy of the data on it.  Combining Doc check with eIDV check for countries like Singapore will allow you to accurately and correctly verify one’s identity.  

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SPOTLIGHT: 4th Money Laundering Directive (4MLD)

Last year, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) published Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations for corporate entities such as banks to comply.  Of these Final Rules, these entities must comply with AML compliance with ongoing customer due diligence (“CDD”) that includes creating a customer risk profile and updating customer information somewhat continually (based on risk).

As Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) best practices and regulations continue to evolve on a global scale, one of specific focus is known as the Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4ML).  The European Union’s directive seeks to remove any ambiguities in previous legislation and improve enforcement consistencies.  At its core, the directive involves using a risk-based approach, combined with online mlmonitoring, beneficial ownership, Customer Due Diligence (CDD), Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), and Third-Party Equivalence.

The directive has specific guidance where entities will be required to show that they have taken appropriate steps and considered various factors (e.g. customer, product, geography and channel) risks mitigating the threat of AML & CFT (counter terrorizing financing).   Further information is given about ongoing monitoring of customers with up-to-date records related to their risk assessment and continual due-diligence.

Focusing specifically on customer due diligence, further guidance has been given recently that impose requirements on “covered financial institutions” – which include banks, broker-dealers, mutual funds, and futures commission merchants and introducing brokers in commodities – to identify the beneficial owners who own or control certain legal entity customers at the time a new account is opened.  Here are the highlights regarding customer due diligence:

  • Customer Due Diligence for New Accounts – Applies when an account is opened by a new or existing “legal entity customer” – including a corporation, limited liability company, or other entity that is created by the filing of a public document with a Secretary of State or similar office, a general partnership, and any similar entity formed under the laws of a foreign jurisdiction that opens an account.  This also requires identity verification.
  • Ongoing Due Diligence Requirements for Existing Accounts – requirement to identify and verify the beneficial owner(s) of certain legal entities that open new accounts, the Customer Due Diligence Rules formalized the requirement that covered financial institutions incorporate ongoing customer due diligence obligations in their AML compliance programs.  One specific procedure related to Identity Management is Conducting ongoing monitoring to identify and report suspicious transactions and to maintain and update customer information (which includes information regarding the beneficial owners of legal entity customers).

Worldview and 4MLD – Customer Due Diligence – 2×2

With the developments in the market, the Worldview platform has features to help comply with customer due diligence guidelines.  Because the recent updates include verifying the identities of individuals when the person is not present – like an online purchase or confirming an individual’s identity to sell on an online marketplace, it is best to use multi, high quality data sources to do that.  This 2×2 process includes verifying an identity from two distinct and quality data sources – to help with ongoing risk assessments and monitoring of individuals – not just domestically, but globally.

The Worldview Platform provides 2×2 verification in two unique ways.  The first is our waterfall approach which is a step approach to utilizing data sources that allows for the best result to be returned based on match/no match criteria at each step of the waterfall.  The other is the shotgun approach which broadcasts calls to multiple data sources at once and returns a set of match results.  63

Both approaches allow Worldview customers to access KYC data from best of breed, in-country sources through one single API.  In real-time, and ongoing fashion, customers can constantly monitor the individual constituents of their risk profiling efforts with the expansion messages and codes that Worldview has always provided.

Worldview currently offers 2×2 verification for the following set of countries:  AU, NZ, FR, ES, UK, DE, IT, CH, PL, AT, NL, SE, FI, NO, DK, BR and MX.