Can a fake fool the experts?


Can a fake fool the experts?

September 6, 2019

This is a great article published on PLOS|ONE. What chance do we have in ensuring that the documents presented before us are authentic when even the experienced checkers made mistakes? They had error rates as high as 14% for false acceptance of fraudulent photos. Right to Work checks are a requirement for all UK employers. Missing obvious fraudulent documents can result in a fine or imprisonment.  However impersonators may also result in a fine as a part of the Right to Work checking process.

Additionally there was an interesting point.  When photo to photo tests were done rather than photo to person that the error went up significantly for both groups.

These experienced checkers were seasoned Passport Officers with just over an average of 8.5 years experience. Students tested compared favourably to the Passport Officers in the photo to photo tests.

enaure the person is the same as a part of your Right to Work checksFirst, they asked officers to compare photos to live ID-card bearers, and observed high error rates. Secondly, they compared Passport Officers with a set of student participants, and found equally poor levels of accuracy in both groups.
Finally, Passport Officers haven’t  any performance advantage over the general population on a standardised face-matching task. Furthermore, across all tasks, they observed very large individual differences. While average performance of passport staff was poor, some officers performed very accurately. This was not related to length of experience or training. As a result they propose that improvements in security could be made by emphasising personnel selection.

Authors David White, Rob Jenkins, Michael Matheson and A. Mike Burton – link to article here

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