Germany bans passport photo morphing to prevent biometric spoofs at border checks

Germany bans passport photo morphing to prevent biometric spoofs at border checks

The German government is banning passport photo morphing, which can be used to assign multiple identities to a single passport photo and deceive artificial intelligence systems performing biometric facial recognition for border control, Reuters reports.

Under a law newly adopted by the government, passport photos must be taken at a passport office or submitted in digital format, if taken by a photographer, to prevent multiple identities being attached to the same document.

This type of photo manipulation cannot be detected by the human eye, explain researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics, who say photo morphing is possible even for people who are not related. Similarities in images such as eyes being aligned can be sufficient to perform photo morphing.

To detect identity fraud attempts such as morphing or AI-generated faces, the Irish Passport Service partnered with biometric photo ID company DPS to implement an encrypted photo ID technology for citizens to use coded passport photos for online passport renewal.

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