Imagis Technologies Inc. and Serco Group PLC are working with the U.K.'s National Crime Squad (NCS) to develop a facial-recognition application for use in crime fighting.
The squad is working on a national database based on Imagis ID-2000 facial-recognition technology to use as a tool for keeping track of convicted pedophiles and other criminals, Imagis announced at the Biometrics 2001 Conference here on Thursday.
"We are working with both Imagis and Serco on the technology," an NCS spokesman confirmed.
U.K.-based Serco is a management and consulting company that has been providing IT support to the U.K. government and the NCS, a government agency, for a number of years. The Canadian Imagis Technologies is a developer of image-identification software with a focus on biometric facial recognition, according to the company's Web site.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Imagis' ID-2000 was picked for further development by the U.K. government for its ability to identify an individual within very large databases of images in seconds, its ability to search for common background scenes as well as faces, its use imagery from any source, including live video as well as digital and analog photos and the security built into the program that allows for the secure transmission of data even from remote databases, Imagis said in a statement that was vetted and approved by the NCS.
The software will aid law-enforcement agencies in identifying victims and perpetrators as well as background imagery for criminal investigation and case preparation, Imagis said.
Already being used by the NCS, the facial-recognition technology is playing a part in the ongoing investigation into an online pedophile group which on Wednesday led to the arrest of 130 people worldwide, 10 in the U.K., Imagis said.
The software is also being looked into as a tool for the fight against international terrorism, an NCS spokesman said.
In October, a U.S. Senate subcommittee began looking into the possible future use of cutting-edge devices such as facial-recognition monitors and retinal scanners as a way to combat terrorism following the attacks in New York and Washington D.C. on Sept. 11.
The Imagis ID-2000 facial-recognition technology is also currently being used by the Oakland Police Department (OPD), in Oakland, California throughout Alameda County, including the Oakland International Airport, the OPD and Imagis announced in October.