back to article UK border facial scan tests hit by errors and breakdowns

A trial of automated border control using facial scanners is already in trouble, according to UK Border Agency (UKBA) sources quoted by the Daily Telegraph. The scanners at Manchester airport, said one source, are breaking down on almost a daily basis, and the automatic booths are unable to detect 'tailgating', where two people …

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Strange

I've been using the IRIS system at Heathrow for a few years now and never had a problem.

It works really well and there is a great satisfaction in getting off a red eye flight at six in the morning, seeing a massive queue at passport control and just breezing through the glass box of IRIS so I can then go and wait two hours for my bags.

I'm largely opposed to all of the ID schemes as proposed but do see the need for good security at airports and using technology to make the airport experience a bit more manageable. Clearly in Manchester they can't get it right.

Bozos

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Alien

Where do they get these ideas?

Is it only the government that doesn't know that the state of the art of real world automatic face recognition is rubbish?

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Hmmmm

I think it was Airplane 2 - the customs guys were watching as men openly carried through AK47s, M2s, RPGs etc, but then they pounced on a little old lady as she set the alarm off.

Now why does this article bring up that image.......

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Flame

Are they serious about security or not?

I am sick of all this "be scared" terror bollocks...

If they are so damned serious about security, about the ever present threat of 101ml water bombs etc etc why are they constantly looking for ways to automate everything to save money?

If they were serious, no one would be getting through any border without a face to face human check - the very fact that I can apply the same method I use in the office when I've left my pass at home to a fekking airport says they are not at all serious

I assume I can also get through on my own with joke shop quality false nose in place?

So to conclude - would all the various government agencies stop wasting our time and money, cease removing our liberties and generally stop being fascists over things they have already defacto proven by their actions are not a priority

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b
Unhappy

30% false rejection rate

How can that be? My MP assures me that biometrics are magic....

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Coat

Hmmm, I for one welcome ...

More holidays at home.

Honestly, why go to all this trouble to leave the country? There are plenty of places to go, things to do without resorting to the flying cattle cars.

I admit that you have to guess which week will be summer, but surely that's a small price to pay for not having to learn another language (no talking more loudly doesn't count!), not spending most of the time on the loo (or what passes for one) or being treated as though you should be glad to jump through their hoops in order to leave the country by air.

If you must have a foreign holiday go for a cruise, take a train or as a last resort drive there.

Mine's the one with the matching umbrella-hat.

ttfn

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Go

@ b

"How can that be? My MP assures me that biometrics are magic...."

Allow me to reassure you. Biometrics are, indeed, magic.

* no outsider (and most insiders) don't know how it works

* it relies on gobbledigook phrases

* it never works under real conditions.

* it promises to do everything without any effort on the part of the user.

* when it does work, it doesn't do anything useful

* loads of people believe in it without question, no matter the evidence to the contrary

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Has anyone tried this?

I recently got one of these new passports with the chips in, and have been pondering seemingly obvious ways to subvert it's technology ever since.

If someone took my passport, and then, faced the scanner, holding up a lifesize photo of my face in front of their own, would the scanner be tricked into believing it was me?

Doesn't sound all that secure to me.

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Anonymous Coward

Recalibration = not science

If they recalibrated it, then the metrics are not based on a statistical study of faces.

However there's a far more serious problem with these. If a gate passes me as Elvis Presley, then every gate will always pass me as Elvis Presley. So I just need to find a match that works, then I know I can rely on that match for every gate from the same manufacturer.

In other words, you've given me a way to subvert your security by giving me a reliable test to see if I pass as a false positive.

What idiot thought to roll these out live at an airport? Oh right, Jacqui Smith, yeh that explains it.

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Anonymous Coward

in 10 years time

When you passport biometric data is 10 years different from your face, think how reliable the facial recognition software will be then. If it's rejecting lots of people now, with biometrics only recently introduced, think how bad it will be in 10 years.

This is dumb, only an idiot would roll out this technology.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Has anyone tried this?

A fairly recent development in facial scanning technology is 'liveness' detection, which checks for the kinds of movement that will indicate that the camera is looking a real, human face, and not a picture of one.

So yes, that could well work, so long as the border plods aren't watching you.

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The trick

is is certainly not the unreliable face recognition, but the well-placed, highly visible cameras plus large warning signs. Might keep the easily scared deterred.

Works just like the 5$ camera fake, only a bit more expensive ...

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Silver badge

Re: in 10 years time

They'll fix this one by charging us for new passports every five years instead, if that's all the biometrics can manage.

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Coat

So, can we call this then ..

.. loss of face?

Mine's the one with the rubber face and the false beard, thanks.

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Boffin

A question for you

What exactly are those scanner devices on the ceiling in arrivals in Heathrow T2 for?

They look quite interesting, but not obvious what they do. Except contain lasers, if the warning stickers are anything to go by.

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re: Re: Has anyone tried this?

Nah, they'll all be busy using the milliwave scanner to look at the fit young bird going through customs.

Hell, the security at US malls were found to be using the CCTV cams to watch the women in short skirts. I can't see that the acceptance tests would be any better.

And where better to be as a closet paedo than stuck hidden in a cubicle behind a lot of TV monitors and a steadycam, eh? Who watches the watchmen?

Should be us.

Any place that has CCTV should have a large screen with the live pic of what the operator is doing at all times.

See how the fuckers like it...

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Reinventing the wheel

"a tailgating alarm that actually works will become more important"

Have they never seen a turnstyle like the ones used on the entrance to a football match? Of course new technology is always better isn't it?

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