municipalities netherlands face recognition

Municipalities in The Netherlands Are Considering Using Face Recognition Scanners  

According to the Dutch news outlet NOS, several municipalities in The Netherlands are considering the use of facial recognition scanners for the application of identity documents, such as passports and driver’s licenses, as a measure to combat identity fraud. These scanners are used to verify if the person in front of the scanner matches the photo on the old identity document. Although the plan seems promising, questions arise regarding privacy legislation, as facial scans are considered sensitive personal data and must therefore be handled carefully. 

Currently, facial recognition scanners are primarily used at airports to check passengers, but municipalities like Almere and Utrechtse Heuvelrug are also considering using them for citizen identity documents. This is due to the increasing cases of identity fraud. In practice, the authenticity of the old identity document will first be checked using a document scanner, followed by a verification with a facial recognition scanner to confirm the applicant’s identity. 

A choice still has to be made 

While the idea of introducing facial recognition scanners in more municipalities is gaining traction, process-wise choices still need to be made, according to a spokesperson for the municipality of Utrechtse Heuvelrug. It is not known when the system will be implemented, as tests must first be conducted. The storage of biometric material also remains a point of discussion. Professor of ICT and Private Law, Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius, stated that it is quite possible to have a neat design of such software, provided that GDPR is complied with. 

The Dutch Association for Civil Affairs (NVVB) suggests that more municipalities in The Netherlands are considering using facial recognition scanners but points out that there is currently no legal basis for their use. The Ministry of the Interior emphasizes that municipalities are responsible for the deployment of facial recognition scanners and advises them to conduct a risk analysis to comply with privacy legislation. 

Choosing a trusted provider  

Keesing Technologies, founded in 1911, offers a leading identity verification solution. Keesing AuthentiScan provides automated document verification capabilities and face verification technology. By integrating AuthentiScan, municipalities can swiftly and accurately verify citizens. The solution can also check individuals against the PEP (Politically Exposed Person) and Sanctions List. In instances of suspicion or when support is needed, Keesing’s Expert Helpdesk can provide assistance – staffed with certified document experts skilled in inspecting document fraud. Regarding privacy, Keesing processes data according to GDPR and is ISO 27001 certified for information security standards. 

Discover how governmental institutions have trusted Keesing with their identity verification process here.   

To experience how AuthentiScan can help you as a governmental institution, contact us below and we are happy to be in touch with you.