Jamaica uses biometrics to secure passport issuance system


The Jamaican Government has announced it will attempt to prevent passport application fraud by adding a biometric facial recognition system to its current passport issuance and control system (JPICS).

The JPICS system was originally implemented by Canadian Bank Note Company in 2001 to provide electronic functionality and machine readable passports. The supplier has now been awarded a contract valued at US$1.38 million to procure a Facial Recognition System upgrade to JPICS.

The Jamaican government said similar systems have been implemented across the world. To date, the government has gathered more than two million machine readable photographs in its database (such photographs are standardised making it easier for biometric systems to match against), and that the Facial Recognition System will aim to reduce, or eliminate, problems relating to multiple identities in the application process.

Head of the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency, PICA, Jennifer McDonald, said at a press briefing that the new FRS will allow PICA to have a greater level of identity management. All photographs received from applicants will be checked against this database to possible matches.

The contract provides for the provision of database servers and associated software, as well as a two year maintenance and support services agreement.

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Uncovering passport application fraud with facial recognition
Uncovering passport application fraud with facial recognition

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