Online security company Trusted Faces has linked face-to-face recognition at any UK Post Office to its Online Passport service, enabling people to instantly prove their identity and appearance online. 

Verify has operated an offline system in conjunction with the Post Office for several years that is used to verify identity for criminal record, solicitors or employment checks; carrying out around 180,000 reviews so far.

John Adlington, Trusted Faces MD, said that the company worked with Verify to develop an online interactive version that incorporates a recent photograph as well as identity details.

Applicants for the Online Passport service provide identification data and a photograph to Trusted Faces, then the company generates an Identity Check form recognised by the Post Office. This contains the details (including photograph) to be checked. The applicant takes the form and a freepost envelope plus original documents (passport or UK photo-based driving licence and proof of address) to the Post Office.” 

The Post Office conducts the check and scans a unique barcode on the form which notifies Trusted Faces of the time and place it’s been completed. The form is returned to Trusted Faces by the Post Office and a final security check is completed to ensure that the details on the form still match the registered details.

Trusted Faces says that the service helps to increase credibility when using social networks, reduce risk when meeting new online social or business contacts in the real world and isolates cyber criminals, predators and bullies who use anonymity or false identities. Additionally, the company says it can protect online reputation by assisting media screening and data mining.

Certified Online Passport holders can join Trusted Faces’ Who’s Who Directory to promote their social, professional and business profiles and enable customers, followers or other users to authenticate email, social network profiles and web addresses.