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Home Office plans generic ID service


The Home Office has plans for an identity verification app, with a capacity to read passports and facial biometric enrolment, worth around £100 million.

The department is seeking to establish a Generic Identity Verification Service that can scan documents and process identity data, including matching facial biometrics in real time with ‘liveness detection’. The service will also need to integrate with application and case working systems and secure personal data.

It has published a prior information notice to announce a supplier engagement event on 2 September, although this is not a condition of bidding for future procurements. The department plans to publish its contract notice on 28 October.

The requirements are similar to those for the automated eGates provided at 15 air and rail ports in the UK, although these use dedicated equipment and have Border Force staff to support the process.

In 2018 the Home Office launched a dedicated app for EU nationals so they could register to stay in the UK after Brexit which included similar functionality, including the ability to scan documents with a chip. It was criticised over technical problems and the fact it was only available for some Android devices.


Image from iStock: Lazy Bear

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