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Volume 496: debated on Tuesday 1 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the error rate of face recognition systems installed at points of entry by the UK Border Agency. (288517)

Automated Clearance Systems (ACS) are currently in use at Manchester and Stansted airports. They are being independently monitored for the UK Border Agency, as well as by the Home Office Scientific Development Branch.

The system can reliably pick out impostors and even distinguish between identical twins. The face matching system uses statistically based algorithms and error rates are in line with system specifications. The system is monitored by UKBA officers, who will examine any passengers rejected by the gate, as well as carrying out random manual checks.