Social Welfare Fraudsters Weeded Out by Facial Recognition System

Ireland’s Department of Social Protection’s use of facial recognition software to weed out fraudsters continues to pay off, according to a report from Irish Examiner.

Social Welfare Fraudsters Weeded Out by Facial Recognition SystemThe agency is using the Cogent Facial Image Matching Software system to compare social assistance applicants’ facial biometrics to those gleaned from images in the agency’s database, helping to ensure that one individual hasn’t registered more than once under different names. The system was introduced at the start of 2015, and by the end of that May it had already been used to bust more than 60 fraudsters who had collected about  €1 million in welfare payments.

Now, the system has produced at least 135 cases for investigation, with 14 having come to court and nine having resulted in sentences. The Department of Social Protection says the system has helped it to save nearly €1.7 million.

It’s another example of how biometric technology is being used by governments to help cut down fraud and save the public purse. While the technology draws attention to those abusing social assistance, by saving the state money it could help to better serve the vast majority of welfare recipients in genuine need.

Source: Irish Examiner

January 5, 2017 – by Alex Perala