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ICE drops $3.9M for Trust Stamp’s facial recognition, London Met taps NEC for $4.2M

ICE drops $3.9M for Trust Stamp’s facial recognition, London Met taps NEC for $4.2M

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has recently signed a $3.9 million contract with Trust Stamp for the development of a facial recognition system to be deployed in migrant detention centers.

The deal was first spotted by Business Insider, and refers to a contract focusing on the development of ‘rapid alternatives to detention enrollments through facial confirmation.’

According to the document, which was filed via ICE’s Detention Compliance and Removals Office, Trust Stamp will provide ICE with services for facial and biometric capture and recognition from September until March next year, or until it reaches 10,000 participants.

The contract does not specify if Trust Stamp’s biometric technology will be used in some or all ICE detention centers, or in what capacity exactly, according to the report. A press release however specifies that the services being provided are for mobile biometrics, and based on Trust Stamp’s data tokenization technology for privacy protection.

Trust Stamp specializes in artificial intelligence (AI)-powered solutions featuring advanced biometric features including anti-spoofing and proof-of-liveness.

The collaboration represents the first federal government contract awarded to Trust Stamp as the main contractor and it comes months after the company raised $4 million in a new investment round.

ICE has relationships with other biometrics providers. Just weeks ago, the institution renewed its contract with facial recognition company Clearview AI, which has in the past year been under scrutiny for its privacy policies. 

While the scope of the collaboration between ICE and Trust Stamp is not yet fully clear, the move hints at a renewed interest of the agency in the deployment of biometric solutions for border law enforcement.

London Met selects NEC facial recognition system

The news was reported by the Wired team, who spotted a Mayor of London’s office proposal that was approved at the end of August.

The document describes a forensic biometrics contract worth more than £3 million (roughly $4.21 million) between the Mayor of London’s office and Northgate Public Services, a recently acquired subsidiary of NEC.

According to the document, the MPS will benefit from an updated Retrospective Facial Recognition (RFR) search capability to process historic images from CCTV feeds, as well as social media and other sources in order to track down suspects.

“Technical advancements made over recent years would if seized now allow the MPS opportunities that were not previously available to support the detection and matching of faces,” the proposal reads.

In other words, the new system will scan images of people obtained by the police before comparing them against the force’s internal image database to try and find a match.

“The opportunity also represents a chance to realize significant savings in terms of officer time it takes to reconcile an image of a person to that person’s identity,” the document reads. “This helps prevent and detect crime and keeps Londoners safe.”

The decision comes after a year of uncertainty regarding the deployment of facial recognition solutions in the UK capital.

In January 2020, the Biometrics Commissioner criticized, together with MPs and human rights organizations, the Metropolitan Police’s deployment of cameras equipped with NEC’s live facial recognition across London.

The call for scrutiny had then caused the London Metropolitan Police to consider pausing live facial recognition expansion in the city.

The recent Mayor of London’s office proposal, however, seems to hint at a contrast in the government’s approach to forensic facial recognition solutions’ deployment in the city.

Will the Biometrics Commissioner voice his concern once again, or will he let the hushed contract move forward without opposition? Follow Biometric Update for more about this story.

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