Call for More Border Agency Collaboration

Passport ScanThe Biometrics Institute, the independent and international impartial body representing the users, vendors and researchers of biometrics is calling for closer collaboration between border agencies and the aviation industry to create safer travel.
Locking identity down on arrival and departure supported by biometric checks against watch-lists is the future,” says Isabelle Moeller, Chief Executive of the independent Biometrics Institute, “this ideally needs to happen at check-in and again at departure gates”.
Ms Moeller, explained that e-passports are already in use in many countries and automated border control (ABC) gates have proved successful in several countries in verifying identities based, for example, on comparing a live facial image to data stored in an e-passport.
Various biometric modalities have been used in this way including iris, fingerprint and face and Ms Moeller says this capability could be used not only at check-in but also at departure.  She added: “Fingerprints can be used at border crossing points to check large watch-list databases in real time for immigration and law enforcement records using many algorithms.  Fingerprint biometrics can also be used for data matching between immigration agencies internationally including pre-visa checks, and trusted or facilitated traveller schemes where some travellers are vetted or cleared for access to biometric ABC gates.”
Ms Moeller underlined the fact that usability and environmental factors need to be taken very seriously not only in regards to security but also regarding privacy.
“It is the interests of our members and society at large to ensure that biometrics are implemented responsibly and are privacy positive” she said. “Biometrics offer opportunities to make travel safer but some risks will always remain.”
The Biometrics Institute members include immigration, customs and defence agencies, police, airlines, banks, university research groups and many other significant users and vendors of biometrics around the world.