Monday, September 30, 2019


The widespread use of facial recognition technology for client identification, by compliance officers who realize that commercial-off-the-shelf databases of high-risk individuals are no longer effective tools for due diligence and customer identification purposes in the 21st century is encouraging, but an accompanying tool is mandatory, if a facial recognition search is to be effective: real-time access to a photographic database of images of high-risk individuals to locate and identify your target.

Too many facial recognition software providers, some new to the compliance industry as well as the technology, are marketing their products, without reference to explaining precisely where compliance officers will find those elusive images of their targets. Some point their clients to social media and social networking resources for a solution, or the Internet, but the quality, as well as intrinsic shortcomings of social media and Internet images, often result in a less than satisfactory result. 

Images from other than photographic databases may result in reduced accuracy, due to factors affecting face recognition, such as facial expression, pose variation,  partial occlusion, and the effect of illumination, among other factors not usually present in photographs taken in an official or professional capacity or setting, such as passports, drivers' licenses, government identity cards, visa photos, professional licenses and other official images.

Focusing your facial recognition software upon social media, as well as on casual photographs appearing on the Internet, will often return false positives, or simply no results at all. Online images, many of whom are casual and not formal and structured, are rarely of such quality that they will consistently identify your subject. Many observers who are critical of the effectiveness of facial recognition platforms are basing their conclusions on efforts that use what are really substandard images, in seeking to identify their targets.

Having ready access to a quality image database is the only solution that will repeatedly return satisfactory results. Insure that your facial recognition technology provider has that feature available to make your choice an effective one. Do not accept assurances that open-source images freely available will do the job; they will fail to deliver the results you require.

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