Liaison Officer Update

ADVP Liaison Officer – Members update newsletter: February 2020

Happy new year to you all. Here is an update on current activity by the ADVP on your behalf and following a recent committee meeting. The agenda is circulated with this note, and the minutes will be uploaded to the website in due course.

You will be aware that a particularly valuable asset of the ADVP is the intelligence held by members in relation to fake documents both at a strategic (engaging government, law enforcement and other industries about the extent and type of fake document usage) and tactical (checking services) level. We now have an internal data sharing agreement signed by a number of committee members so that metadata can be aggregated to help engage and influence high level thinking. We are engaged with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Amberhill team re gaining access to its database for members to use as a checking service, and we have an information sharing arrangement in place with Immigration Enforcement and the National Document Fraud Unit.

Amberhill – the information sharing agreement has been drawn up and we are expecting the MPS to sign this and make the Amberhill data available to us soon. We have been considering how to make the data available, and it will be in the form of a checking service for members. As many of you will know, the future of Amberhill is very uncertain and the team have made it very clear that only by growing the fake document database and thereby enhancing its capability, will Amberhill survive. Therefore, the first phase of our checking service will prioritise the onboarding of those companies that are able and willing to provide discovered fake documents to Amberhill for uploading to its database. I will be circulating a document soon that sets out how the checking process will work. There will have to be a charge for administering the process. I would like to hear from companies who are likely to want to use the checking process. I will need to know if you are able to provide identified fake document images now, and if not whether you could and would work towards this in the future. We will initially commence with companies that can comply with this requirement. It would be helpful for me to understand the quantity of fake documents you encounter. This detail will be treated confidentially but will help Amberhill to understand the likely capacity issues they will encounter.

NDFU/Immigration Enforcement (IE) – One ADVP member has been sharing fake document data and associated intelligence with NDFU/IE for six months as part of a trial. Out of 250 documents shared, 45 resulted in meaningful intelligence and 16 have resulted in packages being sent to IE operational teams for executive action. IE consider this to be positive and valuable intelligence and we agreed to move forward in a business as usual arrangement and introduce more ADVP companies. Another company was particularly keen to join the arrangement because many of its clients wanted to see enforcement action against those using fake documents as part of application processes. This company commenced the sharing arrangement at the beginning of this year. If any other ADVP companies involved in Right to Work and other immigration related checking would like more information about participating, then please contact me. This relationship is very powerful as we engage the government in several areas relating to document checking and its identity agenda. Also, having proved the value of the relationship, we are now about to set up the long-awaited intelligence sharing forum between our industry and government/law enforcement. I will update you soon.

Acuris – We have been approached by Colin Holder, a retired MPS detective and Head of Fraud Intelligence for Acuris. Since 2009 Colin has been involved in on-line checking and developing a database containing data in criminal forums and being used and traded by criminals. Colin cleans the data and categorises it. He states he has around 50 billion records from passwords to fake documents being used or advertised on-line. Colin is seeking interest from companies who may want to check against his database. Colin supplied the ADVP with a small sample set of document images which was checked by one of our companies. 25% of the documents were identified as fake and not previously encountered. We have asked Colin to tell us how many documents are in his data and whether he would allow us to examine them. If anybody would like to know more or make contact with Colin then please let me know.

D4FLY – the ADVP is partnered with Trilateral and 17 other academic, government and commercial bodies in the EU D4FLY project. I attended a recent workshop on your behalf. This project is about developing new technology in unobtrusive identification whilst crossing the border. It is looking at things like facial enrolment, visual imaging and thermal imaging. This project is not directly relevant to document validation, but through the project we have made contacts with organisations that could potentially partner with us in areas more relevant to our business in applying to the EU for funding. Because identity remains a European and global issue, it is our understanding that existing MoU’s with the EU in relation to projects will continue and there is 100 billion Euros allocated for research and development projects in the next seven years. We are exploring this potential for the benefit of our members and I will keep you updated.

Following the AGM in December, the committee has restructured and now has two vice chairpersons. Jonathan Jenson from GB Group will lead on financial matters and Ian Westwood from Passport Proven will lead on immigration. Ian has already started work in this are by engaging the government in relation to the issue of Biometric Residency Permits (BRPs) with validity dates earlier than the date of their leave date. The government has confirmed that this was due to an EU requirement to restrict BRPs that did not have the next generation of encryption technology. Any BRP rightfully held on 1 July 2024 will be replaced free of charge. Jonathan and Ian are looking to identify areas of work where the ADVP should be engaging government, industries and regulating bodies. Please forward any thoughts to me so that I can collate them on your/their behalf.

Secure ID 2020 have approached the ADVP with an offer of a speaking slot about the benefits of electronic validation and the intelligence it generates.

We continue to work with Keith Rosser from the Association of Compliance Organisations (ASCOR) to identify trade bodies that have an involvement or interest in identity validation to see if we can work together for mutual benefit. More information to follow in due course. 

Digital Identity – a number of member firms have been attending the digital identity workshops co-ordinated and hosted by OIX/Tech UK over the last 12 months.  The culmination of the scoping work carried out at the workshops is being summarised at an Economics of Identity event on Tuesaday 11 Feb (which is being attended by representatives of the ADVP).  It is anticipated that the output from the event will better define the potential input the ADVP can have to the development of the UK’s digital identity strategy and, in particular, the importance of electronic identity document validation in the new “ecosystem”.

Website – The ADVP has now engaged admin support, and the first changes you will notice is an improvement in the content and professionalism of the website. Any company that has not yet forwarded its logo and link to its own website then please do so to Kat via – admin@advp.org.uk       If anyone has any ideas about the content of the website or articles that could be uploaded, then please also contact Kat via the same email address.