• Voice biometrics help detect Euro terror plot

    Western intelligence services say that the discovery of the recent Euro terror plot owes at least some of its success to voice recognition technology that allows law enforcement electronically to match a voice to its owner; the technique can be an effective antiterror tool, and law enforcement agencies are already considering how a voice database could help thwart future plots

  • India embarks on ambitious biometric project: 1.2 billion IDs

    Yesterday India officially launched the world’s most ambitious biometrics project: assigning a unique 12-digit number to each of the country’s 1.2 billion people; the project, which seeks to collect fingerprint and iris scans from all residents and store them in a massive central database of unique IDs, is considered by many specialists the most technologically and logistically complex national identification effort ever attempted; the government says unique ID numbers will help ensure that government welfare spending reaches the right people, and will allow hundreds of millions of poor Indians to access services like banking for the first time

  • U.K. Borders Agency in immigration biometrics deal with IBM

    The deal is valued at £191 million, and the government says it will save tax payers £50 million. or nearly 20 percent, from the contract price with IBM by cutting aspects of the planned system that were no longer needed

  • NY DMV says facial recognition technology is working

    The use by the State of New York DMV of facial recognition technology has been instrumental in identifying more than 1,000 cases of possible fraud, according to state officials; more than 100 felony arrests have been made so far, including an Egyptian citizen holding four New York licenses under separate names, one of which was on the federal “no-fly” list, and a former hit man who sought to establish a second identity after release from prison

  • Iris scan biometrics ideal for Minority Report-like project

    Leon, Mexico has began implementing an iris scan biometric system from New York-based Global Rainmakers; the system, rolled out across the city, will see the eyes of anyone taking money out of an ATM, paying for items in a store, or simply catching a bus scanned by hi-tech sensors; Global Rainmaker’s CEO says the company has chosen iris scan for its project because “With iris, you have over 2,000 points— With those 2,000 points, you can create a unique 16,000 bit stream of numbers that represents every human on the planet. That provides a reference point that can connect everything you do in all aspects of life, for the first time ever”

  • U.S. military personnel increasingly using biometric technology

    Since the Department of Defense implemented biometric identification technology, military personnel have seen benefits such as quickly identifying known terrorists, collecting intelligence on insurgent activities, and identifying former detainees the military had released

  • Minority Report comes to Leon, Mexico

    Leon, Mexico, a city of one million, has began implementing an iris scan biometric system from New York-based Global Rainmakers; the system, rolled out across the city; anyone taking money out of an ATM, paying for items in a store, or simply catching a bus will have their eyes scanned by hi-tech sensors; criminals will automatically be enrolled, their irises scanned once convicted; law-abiding citizens will have the option to opt-in; the company’s CEO believes people will choose to opt-in: “When you get masses of people opting-in, opting out does not help. Opting out actually puts more of a flag on you than just being part of the system. We believe everyone will opt-in”

  • Toward a national strategy for online identification

    President Obama has launched an ambitious project — National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace — the primary goal of which is to build a cybersecurity-based identity management vision and strategy that addresses privacy and civil liberties interests, leveraging privacy-enhancing technologies for the nation; offline, there are already dozens of identification technologies in play that go beyond the simplicity of Social Security numbers, birth certificates, drivers licenses, and passports; these include smart cards, mobile phones, biometrics — but they do not follow a consistent standard; this, too, may soon change

  • Distinguishing friend from foe: Afghani biometrics database expanded

    In 2009 there were more than 200,000 biometric enrollments put into the biometric identification system operated by Coalition forces in Afghanistan — a system aiming to determine whether members of the Afghan population are insurgents or innocent; 210,000 have been added already in 2010; the military’s goal is to get to 1.65 million enrollments; the Coalition is currently in the process of contracting out an Afghan company to provide Afghan enrollers to go around the country and work at border crossing points, international airports, district headquarters and district jails

  • AOptix unveils InSight VM iris recognition system

    InSight VM from AOptix Technologies features what the company describes as “an elegant and contemporary industrial design” that is appropriate for installation in public spaces such as modern airports and office buildings; The InSight VM operates at a nominal 2-meter stand-off distance and employs the company’s proprietary Adaptive Optics technology

  • The promise, and risks, of battlefield biometrics

    Using biometric devices in Afghanistan offers many benefits to coalition forces and to the Afghani themselves in making it easier to separate the good guys from the bad; some worry, however, that this can backfire — as was the case in Rwanda in 1994: identification cards which included photos and tribal affiliations of either Tutsis and Hutus made it easier for Hutu militias to identify the Tutsi and murder them

  • Secure Communities to have greater impact than Arizona immigration law

    Since 27 October 2008 through the end of May 2010, almost 2.6 million people have been screened with Secure Communities; of those, almost 35,000 were identified as illegal immigrants previously arrested or convicted for the most serious crimes, including murder and rape; more than 205,000 who were identified as illegal immigrants had arrest records for less serious crimes; during an eight-month period between 1 October 2009 to 7 June 2010, ICE figures show that 113,453 foreign nations with criminal records had been deported

  • The revival of CLEAR's Registered Traveler program

    In 2003, Steven Brill, founder of Court TV and American Lawyer magazine, founded Verified Identity Pass and used it to launch the CLEAR program at Orlando International Airport; the program made it possible for pre-registered travelers to skip security checks at airports; the initial 8,000 travelers enrolled in 2003, and the service would grow to nearly 260,000 paying customers in a matter of five years; CLEAR went belly up in 2009, and its assets were bought by Algood Holdings, which relaunched the program; “Same brand, same logo, different company,” says CEO Caryn Seidman Becker

  • Ireland to block EU-Israel data-sharing agreement

    The EU and Israel planned on launching a data sharing agreement aimed to enable law enforcement better to identify and track terrorists and criminals; Ireland, still smarting from what it says was Israel intelligence’s misuse of Irish passports in the assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai earlier this year, blocks the agreement

  • Hand-held scanner checks 100 databases -- in one second

    Army guards at Fort Sam Houston are using a hand-held identity detector that taps information from more than 100 databases — in one second; the manufacturer says that the use of the device has resulted in 60,000 arrests since the start of 2004; Senator Schumer wants TSA to use the device at airports