A London-based cyber-security firm with just 20 employees became the first overseas company to win a contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help tackle border security.
iProov will roll out its biometric facial verification technology to help Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and improve the passenger-entry operation process under the DHS’ Security Science & Technology Directorate’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP). The idea is that the tech will help accurately and reliably identify travelers as they travel through U.S. airport checkpoints and other border crossings. In tandem, it should reduce passenger-processing time.
The technology was chosen because of iProov’s ability to detect “spoofs”—people trying to trick biometric sensors by using a fake photo, screen image, or doctored video, iProov’s CEO Andrew Bud told Quartz. It’s a tricky task considering that more than 112 million passengers enter the U.S. annually and more than 1 million attempt to pass through its borders each day. The tech is aimed at helping CBP facilitate the entry of international visitors, while also improving self-serve processes as well.
In a statement sent to Quartz, Liam Fox, secretary of state for the UK Department for International Trade, highlighted how trade between the U.S. and U.K. has grown to £181.2 billion ($258.7 billion) over the last year and that this helped seal the iProov deal, which is one example of “our shared economic and security ties.” The U.S. is the U.K.’s largest trading partner and biggest export market.
With its 20 employees, iProov’s has made waves in the tech industry since it was founded in 2011. It has been 10 granted patents in the U.K. and U.S. for the technology that can detect spoofs and was recently named one of the winners for the prestigious Sinet16 awards for the cyber-security industry.