ADOT boosts security measures through facial-recognition system

Customer records maintained by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) just got even safer, thanks to the department’s use of automated facial-recognition technology.

ADOT has entered into a contract with NEC Corporation of America to utilize its NeoFace Service-Oriented Architecture for 12 months to help improve the department’s process of issuing state credentials. ADOT has an option to extend the contract for another 84 months, Harold  Sanders, public information officer for the department, said.

“The initial 12-month term will allow for the implementation and testing of the software application to the satisfaction of ADOT,” Sanders told TI News Daily this week.

Specifically, ADOT’s Motor Vehicle Division has started using the facial-recognition technology in the credential application review and screening process.

Altogether, ADOT’s database contains roughly 7.7 million drivers’ licenses and identification records, and stores some 16 million images. The cloud-based, automated facial-recognition software system provides ADOT with an off-site solution against fraudulent identity activities, among other threats.

This process will enhance what the department has been doing for several years in making customer privacy a top priority.

In 2012, for instance, the ADOT Motor Vehicle Division implemented the Photo First project to aid in the detection and prevention of fraud, forgery and identity theft in the credential application process, Sanders said.

“To further enhance the protection from fraud, forgery and identity theft for Arizona credential holders, ADOT began in 2013 to move toward acquiring and implementing facial-recognition technology as an additional screening tool to be utilized along with Photo First in the credential-application process,” Sanders said.

By the end of 2014, ADOT completed the necessary steps to integrate facial-recognition software and this spring began using the technology in the application review and screening process, Sanders said.

“ADOT has always had a primary commitment to its customers to protect the privacy and to safeguard each customer's personal information contained in records maintained by the agency,” Sanders said.

In fact, Sanders told TI News Daily that customer records are maintained “under high-security protocols to prevent unauthorized access, and ADOT utilizes various strategies to prevent an applicant from obtaining an Arizona credential through the submission of forged or fraudulent documents.” 

This process also may lead to the detection of identity theft during the review and screening of the credential application, Sanders said. 

“Each holder of an Arizona credential can be assured of the credibility, integrity and validity of the state-issued identification, and their privacy and personal information are protected as a result of each step and enhancement of the application process implemented by ADOT," Sanders said.

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Arizona Department of Transportation

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