A BBC investigation showed that women with darker skin are more than twice as likely to be told their photos fail UK passport rules when they submit them online than lighter-skinned men.

The UK’s passport application website uses an automated check to detect poor-quality photos which do not meet Home Office rules.

These include having a neutral expression, a closed mouth and looking straight at the camera.

The Home Office said the tool helped users get their passports more quickly.

BBC research found this check to be less accurate on darker-skinned people.

Photos of women with the darkest skin were four times more likely to be graded poor quality, than women with the lightest skin.

One black student said she was wrongly told her mouth looked open each time she uploaded five different photos to the government website.

Extracts from a BBC News article (original). Published 8 October 2020.