Identity authentication

  • Portable device helps officers ID uncooperative suspects

    A portable fingerprint scanner helps police in a Florida town to identify people who refuse to identify themselves; the portable device searches the database of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which has more than 5.5 million criminal records; it also crosschecks a FBI database of wanted persons, sex offender registry and known or suspected terrorists

  • Face recognition on the go

    New mobile phone software recognizes friends in real time; the smart phone’s camera picks out faces in the crowd and tags them with names — so that their latest entries in Facebook, LinkedIn, or tweet appears on the smart phone’s screen

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  • Hoyos shows cheap, dollar bill-size iris scanner

    Hoyos shows a small iris scanner which will allow scanning on the go; at just 5.5 inches wide, 4 inches tall, and 3 inches deep, the company’s latest iris scanner is not only a quarter of the size of the device’s previous iteration, the EyeSwipe Mini, but a quarter of its cost: the unit’s price is just $1,499

  • Biometric technologies save lives in the field

    This is not your father’s military: Within minutes of knocking down the door of a suspected bomb maker in the Middle East, U.S. troops can fingerprint everyone they find inside, send scans across a satellite link, and find out if the subjects are suspected terrorists

  • Aussies mull use of biometrics for gambling machines

    The Australian government wants to keep an eye on who uses poker and gambling machines installed in pubs, clubs, and casinos; many see biometrics as a solution — but agree that the Australian Privacy Act has to be modified, and standards set, to make sure the biometric information collected is not misused; there are worries about users stealing and reusing fingerprints from the readers, thus allowing gamblers to sign in as another, and bypass the financial controls

  • Arizona County to fingerprint employees with access to sensitive facilities

    Pima County, Arizona, is moving to fingerprint more employees who work with kids and populations who need special assistance, who deal with sensitive data, or who have access to critical infrastructure facilities such as wastewater treatment plants; “We don’t want guys with criminal backgrounds knowing how our radio system is constructed. The same with wastewater, which could be compromised,” John Moffatt, the county’s director of Strategic Technology Planning, said

  • Adding biometrics to E-Verify would reduce illegal immigration

    A new white paper argues that adding biometric technology to E-Verify would bolster DHS’s legal employment verification system; the paper author, former senior FBI official, says that better verification of employment credentials would significantly reduce the flow of illegal immigrants because it will make that much harder for illegals to find a job

  • Rhode Island prison deploys new inmate eye scanners

    This summer a Rhode Island prison inmate was able to walk out of prison by posing as another inmate who was up for parole; the state Department of Corrections has deployed an eye scanner in the prison that checks inmates’ eyes to ensure identity

  • Doubts cast on fingerprint security for online banking

    A new fingerprint security system could offer an alternative to remembering multiple online account passwords; some argue, however, that such a system is open to error and would face opposition in developed countries where it is seen as socially unacceptable

  • Critics: Trusted Traveler will allow Mexican cartels to bypass airport security

    Two weeks ago DHS announced plans the roll out of Trusted Traveler program with Mexico; under the program, Mexicans who have undergone background checks and are deemed low security risks will be able to fly into major U.S. cities and breeze through customs without being questioned by U.S. Customs agents; critics say Mexico’s drug cartels will quickly learn how to exploit loopholes in the plan by recruiting Mexicans with clean backgrounds to attain trusted traveler status, and then use them to smuggle drugs and other contraband into the United States; Mexican citizens are already eligible for expedited land border crossings through another trusted traveler program, Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI); last week, two SENTRI trusted travelers were caught trying to bring contraband across the border into the U.S. through the SENTRI-only express border passage

  • TSA approves for-pay faster security lines at airports

    TSA has given the green light to a “trusted traveler” lane at another one of the U.S. busiest airports; the lane at Denver International Airport is operated by New York-based Alclear LLC, a company that pre-screens fliers, giving them quicker access to security checkpoints

  • U.K. government drops voice biometrics as anti-fraud tool

    The U.K. Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) has to contend with fraud on a massive scale — fraudulent claims are estimated at 5.2 billion Pounds (or 2.1 percent of all expenditure) a year; since 2007, DWP has spent 2.4 million Pounds on testing voice biometrics as an anti-fraud tool, but has now abandoned the trial

  • Eye-movement biometrics holds promise, but skeptics want to see more

    Each of us has a unique pattern of eye movements; an Israeli company says its eye-movement biometric system exploits this fact for a simple, hard-to-fool approach; the system tracks the way a person’s eye moves as they watch an icon roaming around a computer screen; the way the icon moves can be different every time, but the user’s eye movements include “kinetic features” — slight variations in trajectory — which are unique, making it possible to identify him; the system can also be used as a lie detector, or a drug and alcohol test

  • New opportunities for biometrics and smart cards

    The biometric microprocessor card market is growing by leaps and bounds; the microprocessor smart card market will hit 5.32 billion units shipped in 2010 and rise to 6.02 billion units in 2011; the growth owes to rising sales of e-ID cards, especially from the European residence permit, and growth in e-services for citizens

  • All airlines flying to the U.S. now gather passenger information for terror check

    All 197 airlines that fly to the United States are now collecting names, genders, and birth dates of passengers so the government can check them against terror watch lists before they fly; getting all air carriers that travel to or through the United States to provide this information marks a milestone in the government’s counterterror efforts and completes a recommendation of the special commission that studied government shortcomings before and after the 9/11 attacks