FAA, DHS and TSA examining use of biometrics for aviation security for several years
2001 - FAA and DoD Counterdrug Technology Development Program Office co-chaired the Aviation Security Biometrics Working Group (ASBWG)
Examined use of biometrics in 4 aviation security applications:
Identity verification of employees
Protection of public areas in and around airports
Identity verification of passengers boarding aircraft
Identity verification of flight crews prior to and during a flight.
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) of 2004
Title IV – Transportation Security, Section 4011 – Provision for the Use of Biometric or Other Technology , directs TSA to “issue, not later than March 31, 2005, guidance for use of biometric technology in airport access control systems.”
TSA encourages airport operators to use this guidance document to improve upon their existing access control systems by incorporating biometric technologies.
Directs TSA Asst. Secretary, with representatives of the aviation industry, biometric identifier industry and NIST to issue guidance to establish, at minimum:
(A) comprehensive technical & operational system requirements and performance standards for the use of biometric identifier technology in airport access control systems (including airport perimeter access control systems) to ensure that the biometric identifier systems are effective, reliable, and secure.
(B) list of products and vendors that meet the requirements and standards set forth in sub paragraph (A)
(C) procedures for implementing biometric identifier systems to ensure that individuals do not use an assumed identity to enroll in a biometric identifier system and to resolve failures to enroll, false matches, and false non-matches
(D) best practices for incorporating biometric identifier technology into airport access control systems in the most effective manner, including a process to best utilize existing airport access control systems, facilities, and equipment and existing data networks connecting airports.
Accuracy, speed, and robustness of technology used
Inability to bypass
Degree of technology approval
Ensure in advance that user base is not offended
Important Features of Biometric Technologies Source: Registered Traveler Program Policy and Implementation Issues http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03253.pdf Technology characteristic Fingerprint Iris Facial Hand How it works Captures and compares fingertip patterns Captures and compares iris patterns Captures and compares facial patterns Measures and compares dimensions of hand and Fingers Cost of device Low High Moderate Moderate Enrollment time 3 minutes, 30 Seconds 2 minutes, 15 seconds About 3 minutes About 1 minute Transaction time 9 to 19 seconds 12 seconds 10 seconds 6 to 10 seconds False non-match rate .2%–36% 1.9%–6% 3.3%–70% 0%–5% False match rate 0%–8% Less than 1% 0.3%–5% 0%–2.1% User acceptance issues Associated with law enforcement, hygiene concerns User resistance, usage Difficulty Potential for privacy misuse Hygiene concerns Factors affecting Performance Dirty, dry, or worn Fingertips Poor eyesight, glare, or Reflections Lighting, orientation of face, and sunglasses Hand injuries, arthritis, Swelling Demonstrated Vulnerability Artificial fingers, reactivated latent prints High-resolution picture of iris Notebook computer with digital photographs None Variability with age Stable Stable Affected by aging Stable Commercial availability since 1970s 1997 1990s 1970s
TSA and NIST create standards to evaluate biometric sub-systems for inclusion on the QPL
In some cases a device that does not meet all the criteria and standards may be approved for placement on the list if TSA believes its performance will be comparable to devices that meet the criteria and standards.