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UK’s first look at biometrics self-enrollment systems didn’t wow, but new trials planned

UK’s first look at biometrics self-enrollment systems didn’t wow, but new trials planned

The British Home Office wants to hear from biometrics self-enrollment researchers and vendors capable of supplying self-service kiosk, phone apps or both for visitor and immigration vetting.

Government officials wrapped up technology feasibility trials of face and fingerprint biometrics scan products in December. While they were unimpressed with the maturity of the technologies, a subsequent test phase was planned. That phase is covered by the Home Office’s latest evaluation announcement.

According to the notice, this phase will close Aug. 5.

Officials want to assess biometrics sensors, print readers and optical-character-recognition systems. The goal is to create a single identity verification line around the global that people asking to travel to the United Kingdom must first navigate.

But getting verified must be as frictionless as security can allow, which means, among other things, that rapid self-enrolment is highly desired.

In a report about the first round of assessments, government officials said products “showed promise.” But “there are several aspects that must be improved” for kiosks and mobile setups, according to the report.

Fingerprint kiosk software capable of detecting biometric presentation attacks, for example, “requires more research.”

Participants in the initial trial, which rant from November through December last year, included Blue Biometrics, FaceTec, Gambit, GBG, Idemia, iProov, NEC subsidiary Northgate Public Services, Regula Forensics, Spidx, Teleperformance Contact, Trust Stamp, Thales, Unisys, Veridium, and VFS Global.

If similar efforts in the United States are any guide, this will be a long and multi-level slog.

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