Smile – your passport photo might prefer it

Smile for the birdy

Governments want their citizens to be as miserable as possible when having their passport picture taken. New research suggests “not smiling” for passport photos could impair rather than improve matching accuracy. Research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and performed by Dr Rob Jenkins and his team at the University of Glasgow shows that an image of a person may look different from one image to the next. The researchers said that whilst we are told not to smile in our passport photos, as a smile distorts the face,…

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UKBA gives up on £9 million IRIS automated border control

The UK’s Border Agency is having a bit of a hard time ahead of the London 2012 Olympics. It has confirmed it is scrapping the Iris Recognition Immigration System (IRIS). And UKBA is to be split in two after an official inquiry report found that poor communication, poor oversight and confusion among ministers and senior officials lay at the heart of last summer’s border checks fiasco. The IRIS gates have been deactivated at Birmingham and Manchester airports, but are expected to stay in use at Gatwick and Heathrow airports until…

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Heathrow may miss ABC Olympic target

UK facial recognition eGates

Heathrow airport may now not get facial recognition technology at all five of its terminals in time for the Olympics as planned, according to a story in the Financial Times. Plans for BAA to install ‘e-gates’ facial recognition technology at the airport to allow registered non-EU nationals to use electronic self-service immigration controls were given the go-ahead last July, following an 18-month trial with the UK Border Agency. However, BAA has said that the roll out is being delayed while the UK Border Agency (UKBA) completes an investigation into last…

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