Thursday, February 24, 2011

ICBC's Facial Recognition Protects Customers

 Protects From Identity Theft and Fraud

Two years after it was introduced, ICBC's use of facial recognition technology has had a dramatic impact on helping to protect our customers from identity theft and fraud.

In 2010, the technology — which enables ICBC to compare a cardholder's image with their existing image on file and with an entire database of millions of images — played a vital role in a number of convictions. The technology works by analyzing facial characteristics that do not change, such as the size and location of cheekbones and the distance between the eyes.

"We've always been proud of the security of our driver licensing system but facial recognition technology has taken us to a new level in protecting our customers," said Fred Hess, vice president of driver licensing at ICBC. "We're now at the forefront of identity protection."

One of the many cases of identity theft and fraud that we uncovered in 2010 through the use of facial recognition technology happened in Nanaimo:

Nanaimo: We discovered that the photo of a Nanaimo resident was attached to two different driver's licences. Our investigation discovered that one of the identities used to obtain a B.C. driver's licence, register and insure several vehicles, was in fact deceased. This led to the man's arrest for 'personation with intent' and several further admissions from him. We learned that he had obtained the fraudulent licence to avoid his criminal history and the restrictions of his parole, and that he had debt with ICBC which prevented him from obtaining a licence in his own name. He pled guilty in December and was fined $5,000.

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