New York City to use facial recognition software for municipal ID program

December 9, 2014 - 

New York City officials announced it will use face recognition software to curb identity fraud regarding the city’s new municipal ID program, according to a report by New York Post.

Launching next month, the new IDs will be issued for free to any New York resident over the age of 14 and will be valid for five years.

Applicants will be required to have their photos taken at city enrollment centers, where specially trained officials will investigate potential fraud, such as those people attempting to obtain duplicate cards.

“A great deal of analysis and care went into ensuring our IDNYC card is strong on privacy and security, while providing access to as many people as possible,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We want New Yorkers to feel proud to carry this card in their wallet, but also to feel confident knowing that their information is safe and secure.”

The ID program has been met with some concerns regarding the potential for identity fraud, along with security issues involved with private information being stored in government databases.

As a result, the city will implement a few security measures in advance of the ID program’s January launch, including mirroring the document requirements to initially prove identification and residency used by the state Department of Motor Vehicles for securing a driver’s license.

The ID card will feature an embedded hologram, city seal and black-and-white “ghost” photo to further prevent identity fraud.

Finally, access to the full database of applicant information will be limited to only high-level employees of the Human Resources Administration.

Officials also previously said that law-enforcement authorities would require judicial subpoenas or warrants to access the private data.

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About Stephen Mayhew

Stephen Mayhew is the publisher and co-founder of Biometrics Research Group, Inc.. His experience includes a mix of entrepreneurship, brand development and publishing. Stephen attended Carleton University and lives in Toronto, Canada. Connect with Stephen on LinkindIn.