ICO reveals first innovations from regulatory sandbox

Two innovations to help companies tackle financial crime are the latest results to come out of the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) regulatory sandbox.

Onfido has worked in the ICO sandbox to identify and mitigate bias present in the biometric identity verification technology it designed to enable its clients to prove their customers are who they claim to be.

As part of the firm's efforts to ensure its technology is fair and inclusive, it recognised that the facial recognition technology was likely not responding to all individuals equally, due to the broad diversity of facial characteristics found in the global human population.

This is a commonly recognised problem in the field and without specific efforts to measure and mitigate algorithmic bias, the problem will persist. Onfido’s work in the sandbox ensures that its product is fair and inclusive for all users undergoing identity verifications.

A second organisation using the sandbox is Future Flow Research, which provides an analytics platform that monitors the flow of funds in the financial system, with the potential to combat financial crime.

The platform enables financial institutions to contribute pseudonymised transactional data in bulk, enabling multiple financial institutions, regulators and agencies to work together to detect and ultimately tackle electronic financial crime.

This collaborative approach to fighting financial crime opens up the prospect of higher detection rates with lower false positives, while reducing the burden of scrutiny on each individual and business consumer.

Pseudonymisation is a technique that replaces or removes information in a data set that identifies an individual.

The ICO stated that organisations which are considering developing tools and services in data sharing and children’s privacy online can register their interest to take part in the next phase of its sandbox.

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