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Using digital checks to prevent property fraud

The Land Registry’s deputy chief executive Mike Harlow has written a blog post suggesting that current conveyancing identification processes ‘do not feel very 21st century’ and have been difficult to maintain during the Covid-19 crisis.

“The prevention of property fraud obviously relies on the accurate verification of the parties to the transaction. Even in the best of circumstances, conveyancers checking the identity of their clients personally can be inconvenient to both. It also relies on the skill and attention to detail of the person doing the checking, which can be variable. By contrast, there are technological means of checking electronic passports and similar that can be highly consistent and accurate”, he wrote.

“Using cryptographic combined with biometric identity solutions presents a potential simple solution. When using these technologies the user places their smartphone next to their passport. The app then analyses the information from the passport chip to cryptographically check the validity of the passport. The user then records a video, which is then compared with the passport photo on the chip to achieve facial recognition. This can be done using a smartphone (Android and iPhones included), wherever they are, and the results are near immediate.”

Harlow urged potential suppliers of cryptographic and biometric technology to consider how they could meet conveyancers’ needs.

Posted on 4 June, 2020 by Ortolan

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