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Vol. 1 • Issue 2 • September 2015
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EyeDetect in the News!
What do local law enforcement think about EyeDetect? Watch this ABC-4 TV news report.
See EyeDetect technology featured on Science Channel's "Through the Wormhole."
Man Vs. Machine:
The True Story of an Ex-Cop’s War On Lie Detectors


Excerpt: Companies are working to bring new types of lie detectors to the market... a startup called Converus has developed an exam based on eye movement and pupil dilation. Raskin, the polygraph researcher, is on the company’s science team. Focusing for now on Latin America, Converus markets its “preemployment and periodic employee screening solution” to government agencies and the sorts of businesses that in the U.S. have long been forbidden from using the polygraph.

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"Signum Verum" (Latin for "Truth Standard") is the new newsletter from Converus. We hope you enjoy it.

EyeDetect's Accuracy a Big Hit at Law Enforcement Training Conference


By Jeff Pizzino, APRCorporate Communications – Converus participated in the 20th Annual Corrections and Law Enforcement Training Conference in St. George, Utah Sep. 21-22. Approximately 800 attended the event, hosted by the Utah Sheriffs’ Association. The Lehi-based start-up not only demonstrated the accuracy of its new lie detection technology, EyeDetect, but was also featured on a TV news report.

Field tests show EyeDetect is 85 percent accurate, but when the company conducted 13 blind number tests on dozens of law enforcement officers, the results were 100 percent accurate.

“Interest was high because EyeDetect was previously unknown to most attendees,” said Converus President and CEO Todd Mickelsen. “But after we demonstrated its accuracy, efficiency and noninvasive nature, it quickly made a name for itself.”

EyeDetect uses an infrared eye tracker to monitor involuntary eye movements — such as pupil dilation, blink rate and fixations — to detect deception while a subject answers true/false questions on a computer screen. Most companies, in countries where it’s legal to administer lie detection tests in the workplace, use it for pre-employment screening of job candidates and periodic testing of current employees.

TV News Report

A KTVX Channel 4 news reporter, the Salt Lake City ABC-TV affiliate, interviewed Converus Vice President of Worldwide Sales Neal Harris at the conference. Her story, “New lie detector test identifies deception by the behavior of the eyes,” ran Sep. 22.

A highlight of the conference was the keynote speaker, Daniel Linskey. Linskey, the retired superintendent-in-chief of the Boston Police Department and incident commander for the Boston Marathon, discussed what he learned from the Boston Marathon bombing.

Converus, which has focused its sales efforts almost exclusively on Spanish Latin-America countries since coming to market early 2014, recently began selling EyeDetect in the U.S. The Salt Lake City Police Department purchased the technology in August, becoming the company’s first U.S. customer.

For more information, visit www.converus.com. 

EyeDetect Lie Detection Technology Featured on Science Channel's "Through the Wormhole"


By Jeff Pizzino, APRCorporate Communications – Chief Scientist Dr. John Kircher of Converus was featured on the Science Channel’s June 3 show “Through the Wormhole” with Morgan Freeman to discuss EyeDetect — the first viable lie detection technology invented since the polygraph emerged nearly 100 years ago..

Top industry experts are showcased on “Through the Wormhole” to enlighten viewers on a wide variety of scientific questions. For this episode titled, “Why Do We Lie?” Kircher — the co-inventor of the computerized polygraph and the science team leader in the creation of the EyeDetect technology — offered a unique perspective on lie detection.

“I’ve dedicated the last 30 years to understanding how to detect deception with increasing accuracy,” said Kircher. “EyeDetect is the brainchild of 12 years of development and research, and I was excited to share it with the world on one of my favorite TV programs.”

Viewers watched as Kircher conducted a blind test of EyeDetect technology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Two students were given mission-impossible-like instructions by a third party: one was instructed to simply wait outside a building for 20 minutes, then return; the other was instructed to steal $20 from a purse in one of the school’s administrative offices. The students then took an EyeDetect exam, which entails answering a series of true/false questions while an infrared camera monitors involuntary eye movement. Without knowing if one, both or neither student had been instructed to steal, Kircher was able to clearly identify the guilty student and exonerate the innocent student of the theft.

While the program intimated that EyeDetect may be used as a phone app for conducting on-the-spot infidelity tests, the main application for the technology today is for pre-employment screening of job candidates and periodic review of current employees in areas where it’s legal to administer lie detection tests to job candidates or employees.

“Our technology allows organizations to create a culture of workplace integrity and to manage risk by ensuring that the most honest employees are hired,” said Converus President and CEO Todd Mickelsen. “It’s especially ideal for companies hiring someone for a position of trust, such as a police officer, the intelligence community or the banking industry.”

Converus now has authorized service providers in Latin America, including Mexico, Central America and South America. Mickelsen, Converus Science Team Member Dr. David Raskin and other company representatives regularly address groups across Latin America, with audiences ranging from university students in Mexico to polygraph examiners in Colombia to top corporations in Peru.

For more information, visit www.converus.com. 

American Polygraph Association Seminar Attendees Learn How EyeDetect, When Used with a Polygraph, Increases Lie Detection Accuracy


By Jeff Pizzino, APRCorporate Communications – Dr. David Raskin, co-inventor of the computerized polygraph and a member of the Converus Science Team, discussed EyeDetect lie detection technology Sep. 2 at the 50th annual seminar of the American Polygraph Association (APA) in Chicago. Approximately 150 polygraph examiners worldwide attended Raskin’s seminar to learn more regarding the science behind EyeDetect, the world’s first ocular-motor deception test (ODT).

Raskin’s presentation, titled “The UTAH Technique,” discussed the technology’s protocols, methods, results and accuracy. He also shared the video clip from an episode of the Science Channel’s “Through the Wormhole” that featured EyeDetect.

“One of the key components of my discussion was to show how EyeDetect and the polygraph can be combined to conduct pre-screening of large job applicant pools to improve efficiency and accuracy,” said Raskin.

Following Raskin’s presentation, Converus sponsored a cocktail reception to showcase the technology and to speak to interested polygraph examiners and security, law enforcement and corrections agencies from around the world.

“EyeDetect is the first viable lie detection technology to emerge since the polygraph was invented nearly 100 years ago,” said Converus President and CEO Todd Mickelsen. “We have numerous polygraph examiners who have added EyeDetect as part of their service offering because, when combined with the polygraph, the accuracy is about 97 percent.”

EyeDetect uses an infrared eye tracker to monitor involuntary eye movements — such as pupil dilation, blink rate and fixations — to detect deception while a subject answers true/false questions on a computer screen. Most companies, in countries where it’s legal to administer lie detection tests in the workplace, use it for pre-employment screening of job candidates and periodic testing of current employees. Field tests show the EyeDetect technology by itself is 85 percent accurate.

According to its website, the APA is the leading professional polygraph organization in the world, representing more than 2,800 experienced polygraph examiners in private business, law enforcement and government. Professional APA polygraph examiners administer hundreds of thousands of polygraph exams each year worldwide. The APA establishes standards of ethical practices, techniques, instrumentation and research, as well as provides advanced training and continuing education programs.

For more information, visit www.converus.com

Food Stamp and Medicaid Fraud

 

By Brandon Peterson, MarketingIs the US government putting our hard-earned money to good use? Federal programs have been used for many years in an effort to best use taxpayers’ money. One of these programs is the food stamp program, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides nutritional assistance to residents of the United States, including 20 percent of children. Another is Medicaid, which provides health coverage to 31 million children, 4.6 million low-income seniors, 3.7 million people with disabilities, etc. But can we be sure that those applying for benefits are trustworthy and have needs that they cannot fulfill for themselves?

Fraud in Arizona

Earlier this month, two Arizonian men were arrested on drug charges. In addition to drugs, investigators seized documents linking Gildaro Vallez and Carmen Gil to over $13,500 in benefit fraud. They stole $7,297 from SNAP and $6,250 from Arizona’s version of Medicaid. These thefts, although seemingly small, are detrimental to SNAP. To put things in perspective, the average benefit amount for SNAP participants is around $125 per month. The amount of money stolen by these men could have provided nutritional assistance to 58 people for one month or to one person for almost 5 years!

This amount might seem insignificant, but a simple web search for “food stamp fraud” or “Medicaid fraud” yields numerous cases of fraud in the past month alone. All of these cases of fraud are not merely a drain on taxpayer funds; they are stripping aid money from those who need it most.

While it is not clear what methods Vallez and Gil used to defraud these programs, there are many ways in which SNAP and Medicaid fraud occur. Sometimes, it’s as simple as filling out false information on an application for assistance. Other times, business owners accept food stamps for items ineligible for purchase using benefits. There have even been cases of people selling their food stamps online for cash.

How to Prevent Fraud

With so many ways to commit fraud, the government needs to utilize smart solutions to catch fraudsters and prevent them from slipping through the cracks. One solution might be to conduct inspections of those retailers who are authorized to accept food stamps. Another might be to conduct more regular audits of government employees distributing benefits as well as screen those who receive the benefits. Drawbacks to these solutions include the high costs of conducting audits and possibly creating a sense of distrust in employees and those receiving benefits.

With Converus’ EyeDetect solution, the drawbacks are eliminated thanks to the software’s affordable and noninvasive technology. EyeDetect could help make SNAP aware of any fraud by using the technology to monitor employees distributing the benefits to make sure nothing is amiss in distribution and to pre-screen benefit applicants to determine if they have ever participated in fraud before. EyeDetect could even screen current benefit receivers to determine if they are receiving more benefits than allotted to them. EyeDetect could be the solution in stopping SNAP fraud.

Sources
aspe.hhs.gov
fns.usda.gov
Food Stamp Fraud

More Mexican Businesses Using New EyeDetect Lie Detection Technology to Fight Corruption


By Jeff Pizzino, APRCorporate Communications – Corruption scandals continue in Mexico. Most recently, the July 11 jailbreak of drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and the November 2014 conflict-of-interest scandal involving luxury homes built for Mexican President Peña Nieto have kept Mexicans very aware and wary of corruption.


Companies such as financial advisory firm MFM choose to remain vigilant in preventing corruption among employees because they handle sensitive financial information for their clients. To help ensure they hire the most honest employees possible, MFM is taking advantage of the latest in lie detection technology, EyeDetect.

EyeDetect tracks involuntary eye movements to detect deception. Field tests show the technology is 85 percent accurate. MFM’s Manager of Human Resources Karla Hernández says this level of accuracy inspires a great deal of confidence in their clients.

“When our clients hear that we use EyeDetect, they rest a little easier and feel like things will continue to move forward well,” said Hernández. “And we rest easier knowing we’re much less likely to have to deal with the economic repercussions of employee theft or fraud.”

“Our cost-effective technology allows organizations like MFM to create a culture of workplace integrity and to economically manage risk by ensuring that the most honest employees are hired,” said Converus President and CEO Todd Mickelsen. “It’s especially ideal for companies placing someone in a high level of trust, such as in law enforcement or the banking industry.”

Converus has authorized service providers worldwide, including several in Mexico.

How to Honor World Day Against Human Trafficking Annually

 

By Chelsea Warren, Public Relations – When I used to travel a great deal in Guatemala, I noticed an interesting phenomenon as I would walk through the rural villages of the mountains — people would grab their children and hide them from us. If you talked to a random child on the street, people would look at you suspiciously and even angrily.

4 Steps for Success

It was several weeks before I finally broke down and asked a local what the situation was. “Foreigners come here and they steal our children,” was the response. Upon further enquiry, I was told about numerous occasions where people would come in and kidnap children, presumably selling them to human traffickers. With Guatemala’s strict international adoption laws, it’s not unheard of for foreigners to pay to have Guatemalan children taken and then smuggled out of the country for adoption.

Modern-day Slavery

Before this experience, I had never really heard of modern-day slavery. It seemed like an antiquated notion from the pages of dusty, old textbooks. And yet the problem is worse today than it’s ever been. According to the U.N., an estimated 2.5 million people are trapped in slavery today. The crimes committed against victims are some of the worst humanity has yet devised. One in four victims are children and the majority of them are female. Human trafficking is allowed to continue largely because of corruption in local governments and law enforcement.

It’s Time for a Change

To bring awareness to the topic, the U.N. has designated every July 30 as World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, with the first one occurring this year. While it’s not a fun day to celebrate like Christmas or Halloween, it is an important one and there’s lots of different ways to get involved. You can participate in the #IGiveHope campaign on Twitter to raise awareness about the issue. You can donate directly to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking. Most of all, you can take the time to educate yourself about the issue, so you can learn how to address it in your own community.

One tool that may be instrumental in the fight against human trafficking is EyeDetect®, an ocular-based lie detection system that tracks involuntary eye movement to see if someone is being deceptive. Governments that do not have anti-polygraph laws could use this tool to screen local governments officials, effectively cracking down on the corruption that allows human trafficking to continue.

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