From policing to passport control: the limitations of photo ID

David Robertson, Russ Middleton, A. Mike Burton

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Identity verification at passport control, in policing, and in retail stores is most often achieved by matching an individual’s face to a photographic identity document. Despite this, recent research has shown that unfamiliar face recognition is a difficult task, and one which is highly prone to error. In this article, David Robertson, Russ Middleton and Mike Burton outline evidence which establishes the difficulty faced by professionals in occupations which require accurate face recognition, and suggest new avenues of research which may reduce current levels of human error and have the potential to improve real‐world recognition performance.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Specialist publicationKeesing Journal of Documents & Identity
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2015


  • face recognition
  • identity
  • human error
  • national security


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