Biometric technology 'could enhance passport security'

20 October 2011

Posted by Samuel Couratin

The future of passport security could be substantially influenced by the spread of biometric technology, a new report has claimed.

According to the study, using contactless card scanning in airports and at borders could significantly reduce queuing, boost passenger safety and cut costs.

It noted that elements of biometric technology are being incorporated into systems at present to ensure that standards due to come into force from 2014 are met within the air travel security sector.

A total of 11 partner organizations in five nations are involved in the Biopass project, which found biometric identity chips could significantly cut down on queues at airports.

The scheme has developed advanced chip cards and embedded software for the next-generation of identity documents that employs near-field communications solutions to transmit data rapidly and asymmetric cryptography for authentication.

Patrice Plessis of Gemalto, which is involved in Biopass, stated that the project has contributed towards the development of a number of standards in the field.

He added: "We also worked on proof of security for supplemental access control for e-passports, contributing a new standard called PACE - Password Authenticated Connection Establishment - which was adopted in mid 2011."

In the future, the group has suggested that technology developed through Biopass could be employed in voting systems, healthcare security and driving licences.

In related news, global authentication specialist DigitalPersona has unveiled its new fingerprint sensors for mobile devices.

The new generation of biometric technology is a response to the growing use of battery-powered portable identification gadgets and comprises a series of modules and readers that are compliant with industry standards and can be used with handheld ID terminals.

Entitled U.are.U 5100, the range is suitable for carrying out benefits, micro-finance and voting checks and extends the use of biometric ID terminals from their initial use in military and law enforcement settings by providing smaller and more affordable versions of the solutions.

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