Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Melbourne company is meeting the global demand for personal checks as the cost of identity fraud surges.

It might smack of George Orwell's Big Brother and the spread of bureaucracy's tentacles into private lives, but, increasingly, governments, industries, companies and organisations are using sophisticated technology to check the identities and histories of, seemingly, almost everyone with whom they come into contact.

It's a trend that is giving a small Essendon company global reach as its automated police-check system is taken up around the world.

The Personnel Risk Management Group, set up in 1995 by retired Victoria Police inspector Geoff Stockton, recently completed a technology exchange agreement with Avalon Biometrics, a global German company based in Spain, and is now discussing similar alliances with the Home Ministry in India, the Hong Kong Police and authorities in South Korea.

''We developed what we believe was the first online electronic police check system in the world, mainly because of demand from the Australian aged-care and childcare industries. Aged care alone employs 100,000 people in Australia,'' Mr Stockton said. ''And many other industries have adopted it as well.''

PRM's 1500 clients can now log into a secure website and submit a request for a police check, as well as a check of credentials such as academic and professional qualifications claimed in a CV, previous employment details and credit rating...