Identity authentication

  • FBI upgrades fingerprint system

    The FBI recently upgraded its fingerprint scanning system to include faster and more sophisticated technology; the old system could take as much as two hours to match fingerprints, while the new technology can provide results in ten to fifteen minutes; the new system is also more accurate and comes as part of the FBI’s broader technology initiative, which it calls Next Generation Identification (NGI); the next phase of NGI is set to be completed by 2014 and will incorporate latent palm prints and facial recognition technology

  • Biometrics technology gets below the skin

    Businesses and governments around the world are increasingly turning to sophisticated iris scanning biometrics systems that are more secure than traditional fingerprint based technology; the use of iris scanners is picking up steam, despite the fact that it has not been widely adopted as mainstream biometric identification technology; India and Mexico have adopted iris scanning, while Bank of America and residential communities in Japan and Korea have also installed these scanners

  • Web service launched to expedite biometric ID approval process

    As identifying documents like biometric passports incorporate more sophisticated technology, consumers have been forced to comply with stricter application requirements. To help consumers avoid having their photo rejected on passport and visa applications, BioID, a large European biometric company, has launched Pic4Pass.

  • Florida's effective DNA database

    Police in Palm Bay, Florida, four years ago started a local DNA database as a quicker alternative to the state’s backlogged crime labs; the average wait to get results now is fifty-seven days, as opposed to the six- to 12-month turnaround from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement — which processes most state agencies’ samples; the kits used by Palm Bay also cost $100, compared to the $800 for DNA analysis charged by other state-approved labs

  • Real ID pushed back a third time

    To prevent massive air travel disruptions, DHS has postponed the effective date of the Real ID Act for the third time until 15 January 2013. Real ID; DHS has met congressional and state opposition in attempting to get the Real ID Act underway; sixteen states have passed laws forbidding them to comply with Real ID, and eight states have enacted resolutions effectively boycotting it altogether

  • DHS to begin using portable DNA screener this summer

    DHS this summer plans to begin testing a DNA analyzer that is small enough to be easily portable and fast enough to return results in less than an hour; the analyzer initially will be used to determine kinship among refugees and asylum seekers; it also could help establish whether foreigners giving children up for adoption are their parents or other relatives, and help combat child smuggling and human trafficking; eventually, the analyzer also could be used positively to identify criminals, illegal immigrants, missing persons, and mass casualty victims

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  • California enrolls in biometric system to crack down on illegal immigration

    Last week California became the ninth state in the United States to fully deploy the Secure Communities program, which automatically runs an arrested individual’s fingerprint through a national database to determine their immigration status; each year law enforcement officials arrest an estimated one million non-U.S. citizens; ICE has deported more than 62,500 aliens convicted of crimes under the program; critics of the program believe that use of the system has led to the arrest and deportation of noncriminal immigrants and are also concerned about the mandatory use of the system; a report found that in Illinois 78 percent of all detainees identified by ICE were non-criminals

  • Kenya orders 100,000 more biometric ID cards from OTI

    On Track Innovations Ltd. (OTI) recently received an additional order for 100,000 of its MediSmart healthcare biometric ID cards; the cards were purchased by Kenya’s Smart Applications International Ltd. (SMART) for use in medical facilities across Kenya; the card contains a microchip that stores a patient’s name, picture, signature, and medical treatment records; SMART has already issued an estimated 200,000 MediSmart cards to combat fraud

  • Group calls for biometric component to E-Verify program

    The Security Industry Association (SIA) has called for the incorporation of biometrics into the E-Verify program to prevent fraud and increase accuracy; a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that the E-Verify system was vulnerable to fraud and identity theft; a recent audit of Chipotle by ICE agents revealed that many employees are using forged documents to work in the United States; SIA recommends using biometrics to bind an individual to their identity documents, requiring biometric authentication of individuals when they apply for employments, and distributing smart cards to individuals that contain their biometric data; in 2009 nearly 8.2 million new employees were identified using the E-Verify system and this number is set to steadily grow as more states mandate employers to use the program for new hires; roughly 1,400 employers are joining the system each week

  • Mobile biometric screening technology for seaports years away

    A recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is still years away from implementing handheld biometric screening devices electronically to verify passengers entering the United States aboard ships; approximately five million people arrive in the United States by sea each year; CBP agents currently conduct inspections aboard ships and lack access to databases to verify passports, travel documents, or passenger information and report their findings which has led to incorrect and untimely updates to national databases; DHS has made procurement of these devices a “high priority,” but believes it will be years before they can be implemented aboard ships; the primary challenge is remotely linking the mobile devices to databases in the maritime environment

  • Largest Moscow airport testing of facial biometric system

    Moscow’s busy Sheremetyevo International Airport recently concluded initial tests of a new facial biometric security system; the system, BROADWAY 3D, relies on a three dimensional surface scan of an individual’s face; the system is highly automated and minimizes the need for human supervision; during its one month of testing, 3,500 people were automatically screened with 100 percent accuracy; BROADWAY 3D is manufactured by Artec Ventures; Sheremetyevo International is Moscow’s largest airport and has seen rapid increases in passenger traffic; last year more than nineteen million people traveled through the airport

  • Biometric scans at Aussie bars spark privacy law controversy

    Bars and nightclubs in Australia are implementing more stringent verification procedures by requiring prospective patrons to submit to fingerprint scans, photos, and ID inspections; government officials are concerned with the new trend; Australian Federal Privacy Commissioner says that he lacks the authority to audit the system and that there are no regulations in the industry that govern how the data is collected, stored, used, or shared

  • Clothes as silent witnesses

    New research seeks to recover fingerprint ridge detail and impressions from fabrics — a technique that has up until now proved difficult; it is the first time in more than thirty years that fingerprints on fabrics have been a major focus for research and the team has already had a number of successes; the technique, known as vacuum metal deposition (VMD), uses gold and zinc to recover the fingerprint

  • Obama pushing for Internet ID for Americans

    The Obama administration is currently drafting what it is calling the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, which will give the Commerce Department the authority over a forthcoming cybersecurity effort to create an Internet ID for Americans

  • 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