By Joshlin Sheridan, Marketing —
If your passport photo is anything like mine, I’d wager that it’s bland, that you aren’t smiling, and that the picture clearly looks like you, right? Or maybe not…
Recently, a Germany art collective called “Peng!” has earned some attention for its campaign, “Mask ID.” Mask ID essentially openly advocates for the falsification of passport photos. Using special software, Mask ID can merge pictures of two different faces to create a new blended image for a passport.
Why would they do this? The goal of Mask ID is to throw off government databases by providing misinformation. Its participants are highly distrustful of government mass surveillance programs, including facial recognition software. They consider passports as a means of government oppression and fear that government databases could be hacked, exposing their personal data (pictures, fingerprints, and iris scans) to third party companies.
Larger Legal Implications
Mask ID isn’t only concerned about protecting the privacy of the individual, though. According to the Peng! Collective website, steps are now being taken to create falsified passports and share them with others in Libya. They ask that Europeans send their pictures so that their photos can be morphed with individuals in Libya; essentially “sharing” passports. While it seems noble to attempt to help those in struggling countries, there are serious legal issues associated with falsifying passports and using fake identities for immigration. It’s a dangerous game, and identity theft and fraud are not issues to be played with.
Preventing Passport Fraud
In order to help reduce passport fraud, IdentityDetect™ is a solution that could help verify the identities of people when they apply for passports. IdentityDetect is web-based and mobile app technology allows customers to verify their identities within about 2 minutes through a nonintrusive test that monitors variations in motor nervous system responses. Integrating this technology is affordable and yields accurate and quick results. This could stop the spread of campaigns that falsify documents such as fake photos. Learn more about IdentityDetect here.