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Technology Changing the Face of Identity Fraud

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a weapon in its arsenal against identity fraud that has been met with mixed feelings from state residents. Facial recognition technology is allowing the DMV to spot fraudulent identifications at unprecedented rates, but the potential limitations of the software have some citizens concerned.

Facial recognition technology can cross check certain identifying features of an individual’s face against other IDs bearing the same name and information. If your face does not match other IDs tied to the same driver’s license number or Social Security number, for example, your attempt to receive or renew your license may be flagged. This new process has allowed the Nevada DMV to reject many individuals applying for government-issued IDs and seeking renewals in just the past few months.

Of course, this technology has its limitations. The problem stems from the fact that facial recognition is an imperfect science. Any given face may be confused with about 15 other individuals within the system’s database, so you may have your identification flagged or be investigated for fraud, even though you haven’t done anything wrong. In fact, one Massachusetts man already had his valid license rejected because he bore a slight resemblance to another individual in that state’s database of more than 4.5 million faces.

Nevada DMV employees review more than 200 flagged matches every day. Over the past seven months, the agency has opened approximately 1,000 fraud investigations based on this technology. With such widespread policing, many are concerned law enforcement may be ignoring the system’s flaws in favor of increased arrest rates. This makes it all the more important to seek legal counsel if you have become the subject of a fraud investigation based on this often-flawed facial recognition technology.

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