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iProov wins contract with CBP for self-serve passenger entry facial recognition tech

UK-based iProov has been selected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) to provide facial recognition technology to help Customs and Border Protection (CBP) improve the passenger entry process.

The contract is the first awarded to an overseas company by SVIP, according to the announcement. iProov holds US and UK patents in facial recognition, and its technology is used by banks and governments around the world for secure onboarding, logon, and authentication, the company says.

Under the contract the company will develop technology to enhance cross-border passenger travel at unmanned ports of entry, providing CBP with quick, accurate, and reliable traveler identification. iProov’s Flashmark technology will be deployed in its cloud-based facial verification system, which can be accessed from a user’s mobile phone, and integrates with existing CBP systems to pre-register traveler details. The company says its spoof-detection capabilities, backed by technology based on 10 patents, was key to its selection for use in a self-serve identity verification environment.

The user’s mobile device takes a short video of his or her face, and analyzes the reflection of a light pattern the application displays. The results are compared with a government-issued photo ID to verify the user’s identity.

“We are delighted that iProov has been selected by the US Department of Homeland Security to enhance the way in which it processes people through US borders,” said iProov CEO Andrew Bud. “Advances in machine learning and AI have enabled a revolution in facial biometrics in the last few years and we’re now seeing more and more cases of governments and banks turning to self-service, spoof-resilient face verification as the biometric of choice to both increase security and ensure ease of use.”

Bud told Bloomberg that the first phase of the contract is worth up to $190,000, with three subsequent phases bringing the potential total to $800,000. The contract is targeted at 300 land border crossings which are currently unstaffed.

Bloomberg also reports that the company has received interest from the UK government as it tries to avoid implementing a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland following Brexit. The proposed system would be implemented at a self-serve border crossing, as in the CBP project.

iProov won the 2017 National Cyber Security Centre’s Cyber Dragon’s Den competition at CYBERUK 2017, and is the sole UK member of cybersecurity innovation group SINET16.