White Paper – Challenges & Trends in Identity Matching
The complexity of identity resolution, and particularly name matching, is often underestimated. A common opinion is that it is ‘just’ a case of finding a name on a list of names. Obviously, this is a huge oversimplification, as there are many technical challenges specific to this particular activity.
With regulations becoming increasingly strict, name screening has to be conducted in a growing number of sectors and against a growing number of lists. In the nineties, when electronic name screening was introduced (mainly for the purpose of enforcing the embargo on Cuba or blocking transactions for drug traffickers) the sanction lists barely contained a few hundred names.
Following the terror attacks that marked the dawn of the 21st century, sanction programmes were boosted to detect terror funding and money laundering. As a result, there are now hundreds of lists worldwide, totalling millions of names, from ‘political persons’ to ‘state-owned companies’ to ‘dual-use materials’. The sanctions on Libya during the Arab Spring, on certain African leaders, and more recently on Russia, clearly demonstrate that sanction programs now form an integral part of governments’ foreign policies, replacing military action wherever possible. Within the current world context, it is clear that this trend will continue and probably accelerate in the future.
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