Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

Despite warnings that facial-recognition technology is prone to a high rate of error, the U.S. State Department is moving ahead with plans to embed microchips that will allow computer matching of facial characteristics in U.S. passports. Federal researchers, academics, and industry experts say the government should use more-reliable fingerprints instead, according to the Washington Post.

Federal researchers who have tested face-recognition technology say its error rate is unacceptably high–up to 50 percent if photographs are taken without proper lighting. Facial recognition has been adopted in part to comply with International Civil Aviation Organization standards, which specify facial recognition as the primary mode of identification on so-called “biometric passports.” U.S. researchers point out that fingerprints, which have a far lower error rate, could be added to the chip without violating the international standard.

The enhanced U.S. passports are scheduled to be issued next spring for people obtaining new or renewed passports.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me