Biometrics Coming To US Airports

order arial, search sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;”>Biometric passenger identification could soon find its way to US airports. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking contractors for a $7.2bn “biometric exit system” that will track travelers’ arrivals and departures by scanning their unique biometric features.

“The goal of a biometric exit program is to ensure that a traveler could not depart as an impostor…Biometrics offer a greater degree of assurance that the individual departing the United States is who he or she claims to be,” explained a market research survey.

DHS hopes to roll out the biometric system at airports by 2018, with plans to expand adoption to other points of exit, such as land borders and sea ports, at a later time. This will provide a much needed upgrade to current security practices, where the DHS cross-references multiple record sources (like FBI watch-lists) to match the fingerprints of people entering the country.

One obvious snag for such a system is the potential to use disguises and fabricated biological markers to avoid detection. But work is well underway to prevent this possibility from becoming a reality.

One possible program DHS is assessing is Thor, which “seeks to develop biometric presentation attack (PA) detection technologies to detect when someone is attempting to disguise their biometric identity to circumvent biometric security systems.”

DHS is already experimenting with photographing irises at the Otay Mesa border crossing in California. At the Jackson Hartfield International Airport, DHS is testing out workstations that snap photos of passengers as they leave the country to verify identity. Contractors will have access to the results of these trials when they submit their proposals.

Article courtesy : iHLSIsrael Homeland Security

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