Me, myself and I: research project combines real and virtual identities

Posted by pt91 at Jan 31, 2012 12:27 PM |
University of Leicester researchers are involved in a unique international project to combat identity fraud.

The project is investigating the concept of a ‘Super Identity’, based on the assumption that whilst there may be many dimensions to an individual’s identity, all should ultimately reference back to a single core identity.

Professor Monica Whitty of our Department of Media and Communication at the University of Leicester and author of Truth, Lies and Trust on the Internet is focusing on cyber aspects of identity in the project.

The project seeks to find out how to recognise this 'Super-Identity' more effectively, by collating information about real-world and online identities (such as measures of the face, walk, voice, or online browsing behaviour).

Identity fraud, one of the UK's fastest growing crimes, is the use of a misappropriated identity in criminal activity, to obtain goods or services by deception. Researchers hope the 'Super-Identity' project will provide a unique solution to this crime.

The first stage of the project will be to define a set of identity measures across a diverse demographic of the population. After these details are settled, extensive testing will be conducted to provide a measure of identity that we can trust. The project will also examine the human rights, social, legal and ethical issues of the ‘Super Identity’.

The £1.8 million project is collaboration between universities in the UK and USA, and has a large research team including experts from automated biometrics, psychology, forensic anthropology, human-computer interaction, mathematical modelling, complex data visualisation and IT law.