Gemalto to upgrade Irish welfare fraud detection facial recognition system

Ireland’s Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has awarded a €383,000 (US$447,00) contract to Gemalto for an upgrade of its facial verification system. The department has used its existing facial biometrics system to identify 28 cases of identity fraud so far in 2018, and has saved the government more than €4 million ($4.67 million) since the system’s launch in 2012, TheJournal.ie reports.

The facial imaging software saved €334,000 ($390,000) in the first half of 2018, according to a department spokesperson. The department estimates savings of €894,000 ($1.04 million) in 2017 and €1.734 million ($2.02 million) in 2016.

Gemalto will design, develop, and implement the new software for the system, after being the only company to bid on the government tender. The upgrade is intended to improve system performance and functionality, as the market standards for algorithms has improved substantially since 2012, when the original system was contracted for €213,000 ($249,000).

Criminals convicted after being identified through a comparison of a photo with images captured for the Public Services Card include a man who was sentenced to three years in prison, after accumulating more than €280,000 ($327,000) in social welfare payments with two multiple identities between 1999 and 2015.

Gemalto is expected to complete its merger with Thales by the end of 2018.

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