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Philippines officials want to fight driver’s license fraud with facial recognition

Philippines officials want to fight driver’s license fraud with facial recognition

Philippines land transportation officials are considering adding a facial recognition capability to their driver’s license renewal portal.

This comes as the Land Transportation Office reports a large spike in renewal-related fraud, according to the Inquirer. In fact, officials were forced to clarify that they are not mulling a shutdown of the digital Land Transport Management System because of the fraud, according to Philstar.

It has been an event few weeks for the transportation office’s digital ID operations. A month after a local official made statements that left people worried that a biometrics security contract was in danger, Philippines officials were still trying to calm the waters

Speaking recently in front of the Senate’s finance subcommittee, Teofilo Guadiz, chief assistant secretary of the office, said some people attend a compulsory five-hour online document-renewal seminar, but others use impersonation tactics to avoid it.

Guadiz said staff have found that 75 to 80 percent of those attending the seminar are not the same people who eventually take the exam, calling the situation “reprehensible.”

He told the presiding chair of the subcommittee, Senator Grace Poe, that adding a facial recognition feature to the portal, cheating would be impossible.

The portal’s security demands facial recognition to be effective, Guadiz said.

Cheating would not possible “because the portal can already clearly see the one taking the exam, the real owner of the driver’s license,” he said.

Poe called on the transportation office to write a report explaining how it will remedy the situation.

GMA News Online, in a related story, quotes the Guadiz saying the any facial recognition system would be developed to enroll new-license applicants, too.

Other issues aimed at reforming driver licenses, such as increasing course hours, were also discussed during the panel, notes GMA News.

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