Irish Department of Social Protection, 3M, tackle fraud with facial recognition

January 4, 2013 - 

The Irish Department of Social Protection has initiated a contract with 3M Ireland to deploy facial recognition technology into department workflow in an effort to curb welfare fraud.

The new software, which has just been implemented, will use photographic identification supplied with all new claims to automatically detect additional claims already made by the same person, the Irish Examiner reports.

The contract, worth USD $279,522 was awarded to 3M Ireland, a subsidiary of 3M.

According to the Examiner report, bogus welfare claims using fake identity documents have been a lasting and expensive issue for the cash-strapped department.

This recognition system will be used in conjunction with new public service cards issued to claimants in 2012 which contains a biometric photograph and will be used as a basis for facial comparison. According to the department, over 56,000 of these cards have been issued since their introduction in 2012.

The technology, from 3M, will additionally have the ability to compare images with those stored by other government departments.

As reported previously in, 3M Cogent, a subsidiary of 3M which specializes in multimodal biometric systems has recently entered into a contract to provide a digital fingerprint matching system for the Police Department in Seychelles which has been processing fingerprint records manually.

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About Adam Vrankulj

Adam Vrankulj is an editor for His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj