The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, in collaboration with the TSA, has kickstarted a series of pilots that will test the deployment of remote identity verification technologies outside aviation and travel.

The launch of the new Remote Identity Validation Technology Demonstration will standardise solutions available across the marketplace from different vendors, ensuring the interoperability of secure, simply identity technologies that enhance the user experience and combat fraud.

The technologies involved in the demo will enable users to access government services, open bank accounts or verify social media accounts.

Arun Vemury, Lead of S&T’s Biometric and Identity Technology Center, said:

“In recent years, there has been significant growth in user demand to create new accounts or apply for benefits without going to a government office or local business”.

While there are benefits to a competitive marketplace with an abundance of solutions for every use case, it is important to test documents and digital ID solutions to assess their performance to ensure hackers cannot find loopholes to commit fraud and bias is mitigated.

The objectives of the pilot series is to eliminate weakness in technologies that can be recommended for use in national identity schemes and to access government and financial services.

Applications will open in January 2023 to technology developers, testing and accrediting remote identity verification solutions.

NIST Biometrics Evaluator, Patrick Grother commented that is “vital” to understand the capabilities of these technologies and to what extent they meet trust, security, privacy, and equity standards in the emerging digital identity space.

NIST will “contribute to this important effort through robust technology evaluation and standardised metrics” and likewise the TSA.

DHS S&T and its partners will assess the accuracy and “liveness” of selfie photos to match up with secondary personal data.