New York Uses Technology in DMV to Snag Thieves, Hit Man

By | August 12, 2010

New York’s face-recognition technology has led to 100 arrests over six months, ranging from people trying to defraud insurance companies to a mob hit man who sought a new identity a day after he was released from prison, Gov. David Paterson said Tuesday.

The new technology used by the Department of Motor Vehicles and 15 other states will soon be a national crime-fighting tool, Paterson said.

The system collects and stores 64 facial measurements from the 7,000 photos taken each day by the DMV. The data is compared to other DMV photos to check for duplicate licenses.

“We have a target on our back as an epicenter for terrorism,” Paterson said in a news conference to release results from the first six months that the equipment was used. “We need to be leaders in the field.”

Paterson said the technology has also resulted in action against people banned from air travel who were trying to get a new identity, deadbeat parents trying to avoid a law that suspends driver’s licenses for failure to pay child support, a bank robbery suspect and several people trying to defraud the government for benefits. He said more than 1,000 cases of possible fraud have been detected.

The DMV will spend the next three years putting 15 million photographs through the process.