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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.

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Readers write back:

July 13, 2007Cindy Snile of Boston writes: 9/11 has taken our world to a whole new level: a level where security is always in doubt and privacy always a concern. So how long will all this continue; is there an end to it or how farther will we go to be certainly sure that we are completely secured?

It is the same race as that between virus makers and antivirus makers, a cat and mouse game. We make something and there will always be someone who will do something much better. Same goes for our security systems: there will always be someone who will try to outsmart this. So what we do and what other options do we have?

In my opinion, biometric technology is indeed the best solution for these airports, at least for now. Biometrics is something to do with our own personal identity, a feature which is part of you. All humans are unique and it’s not possible to copy everything of a person.

I myself had doubts first on biometric technology and its privacy concern. But when I was in London, my small cousin’s school started using fingerprint readers from a company called M2SYS, using it for convenience during meal lines. It was initially a problem for our family. But as I did research, biometric technology has gone highly advanced and I also check out many companies like Motorola, NEC, Upek, M2SYS, etc., and had got a lot of information.

I had found that many biometric companies do store the biometric information on their data, but in an encrypted format by converting into special random binary numbers. So even if someone gets their hands on these data, it’s basically useless just having numbers, would not make any sense. Also, everyday organizations all around the world are working extremely hard to make biometric technology more secure, acceptable and affordable to our societies.

My suggestion is that we all give a chance to these biometric technologies and do more research on them and have more faith. We always have to look at the positive aspects in everything or otherwise nothing we do is ever going to be perfect.

Airports officially are trying their best, as much faith we should have on technology, we should have the same amount of faith on the airport authorities because they too are trying their best every day to make our lives more secured and have safer flights.

More reader feedback

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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