[LINK] Face recognition fails test

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd@austarmetro.com.au
Thu, 27 Feb 2003 15:35:27 +1100

Face recognition fails test
Karen Dearne
FEBRUARY 27, 2003  
The Australian
THE much-heralded SmartGate facial recognition trial at Sydney Airport has
suffered an embarrassing setback, with two Japanese visitors fooling the
system simply by swapping passports.

The automated system, which is a world-first attempt at using
photo-matching technology for border control, falsely identified both men
as matching the images contained in each other's travel documents.
SmartGate is intended to replace the identity check performed by Customs
officers and is supposed to take into account differences such as age and
ethnicity and variations due to hairstyles or glasses.

The men were attending a demonstration along with other international
members of IATA's Simplifying Passenger Travel committee meeting in Sydney
this week.


But IT privacy expert Dr Roger Clarke described facial recognition as
"atrociously bad technology", while Geoffrey Ross, head of Australia's
largest IT security firm, SecureNet, said facial recognition was
"categorically not" an answer for airport security and identity checking.


Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example
--Mark Twain


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia