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Biometrics and Security

The use of biometrics is rapidly taking on an increasingly important role in national and international security. In an article published in the Asia Times, Fred Stakelbeck takes a look at the technology and at how Asia is actually leading the way in its development and implementation.

Looking ahead, the main driver for the adoption of biometric solutions in Asia will continue to be the government sector, specifically in the areas of immigration and security.

"Now that the concept has been proven in the public context, this will pave the way for the adoption of biometrics," noted Terry Hartmann, director of secure identification and biometrics at Unisys Corporation. "Government departments that need to verify identify will consider the technology initially, after which the private sector will be prompted to investigate how it can solve existing problems, such as building access control."

Starting next month, all passport holders in Singapore will be able to apply for new travel documents with additional security features designed in accordance with international standards. BioPass is a tamper-resistant biometric passport with an embedded Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip, carrying the passport holder's facial and fingerprint biometric identifiers.

1 Comment

Just adding to the discussion with some background:

Feasibility of British National Biometric ID Card Doubted

Biometrics is far from being a panacea to identification. Study after study shows that unless a more complex (and therefore costly) template is employed, then biometrics are not fool proof. To my knowledge, which I admit could be faulty or out of date, finger printing is the current "standard."

As I am aware, there are at least three separate federal ID card programs that employ biometrics.

The key is cost versus level of security. The combination of a biometric with RFID, if the cost can be controlled, could lead to a solution (of sorts). FWIW, recently, I've run into two companies in my city working on an enhanced biometric ID card.

Time will certainly tell on this subject. Of course, this is just my opinion.