Biometrics Special

Lead features

A whole new (biometrics) world
Security initiatives by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) could open up new avenues for the deployment of biometric technologies across the globe. Montreal-based ICAO, which sets guidelines and standards for passports and travel documents worldwide, is pushing for its 189 member countries to adopt machine-readable, electronic passports by 2010.

Flawed biometrics offers false sense of security
From the United Kingdom comes disturbing news that the country’s politicians seek to introduce wide-scale “biometric” identity registration for its citizens. That nation’s House of Commons passed the Identity Cards Bill in a 224 to 64 vote, calling for the use of biometric identification cards and passports. The bill still has to clear the House of Lords, where critics say it will likely face stiff opposition, but if passed it’s expected that biometric IDs will go into effect by 2010 and become compulsory documents for all U.K. citizens by 2012. That could set a disturbing precedent for the rest of the world.

Giving ATMs the finger – NCR exec shows how
In Chile and Colombia, biometrics is giving ATM banking the finger. And that’s a phenomenon we may witness in Canada too…if Mark Grossi has his way. Chief technology officer at NCR Corp., Grossi is a leading evangelist for “self-service banking at the touch of a fingerprint.”

IDLE hands Canadian police a way to curb mischief
Though the tool is dubbed IDLE, the cops using it will be anything but. Integrated Digital Law Enforcement is a face recognition tool from Ottawa-based BlueBear Network. Using the technology, three Canadian police forces participating in a real world test were able to share mug shot databases securely over the Internet. BlueBear claims those results demonstrate their (IDLE) solution is ready for the international policing primetime as it speeds up identification of suspects.