Pakistan authority taps Viisage for passport work

Viisage Technology Inc. has won a contract from the National Database and Registration Authority in Pakistan to provide facial recognition technology to the nation's smart passport and national ID program, the company announced this week. The contract value was not disclosed.

Viisage of Billerica, Mass., will offer products for one-on-one and one-to-many facial recognition searches. One product lets one-to-one searches for an individual applicant's recorded images in the national ID database. Another product allows one-to-many checking to uncover duplicate images and screen images against watch lists. The nation's national ID database contains more than 40 million images.

Pakistan's new program, which is led by the authority and sponsored by the national government, is designed to mitigate terrorism and ethnic violence by improving national security and preventing problems related to identity theft, fraud and the use of unauthorized identity documents.

In the wake of heightened concerns over the misuse of identity documents, Pakistan has implemented smart, machine-readable, radio frequency ID passports and national ID cards that use various biometrics, such as face and finger biometric technologies. These ensure that authorized applicants are indeed linked to the secure identity document.

Viisage provides solutions using secure-credentials face recognition technologies to government and commercial customers. It has more than 125 employees and $37 million in annual sales, according to Hoover's Online of Austin, Texas.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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