Biometrics are now considered to be an essential element of any plan to better protect facilities, identify potential terrorists and streamline controls for users. These needs all converge at airports and border checkpoints, where security requirements must be balanced against commercial realities that are vital to the economy. Today I will be talking about some of the drivers that are pushing biometrics into the security marketplace, and programs that signal how they may be deployed to achieve the goal of stronger deterrence and better service.
Biometrics are not new; in fact, many were developed with the support of the Federal Government. Starting over 20 years ago, the Government provided seed funding that stimulated research and development. Initial successes in the access control market led companies to develop logical access (i.e., computer network logon) and e-business applications that have started to come into broader use; but since September 11, the Government has reasserted its interest in biometrics and again begun to fund the development of safety and security platforms that rely on biometrics to replace traditional – and vulnerable – card and PIN/password based access systems.
The Government’s interest in R&D is one driver that is propelling the market for biometrics; legislation is another. Visa and passport reform legislation, transportation security legislation, and pre-September 11 laws in the health and finance areas have pushed the public and private sectors to adopt biometrics to ensure better control over systems, facilities, records and resources (Note: Rebecca Dornbusch will be talking about legislation, so you may want to recognize her and minimize your message here). Major programmatic initiatives such as the DoD common access card, the DHS US-VISIT (aka Entry-Exit) and TSA trials are giving security experts and integrators experience at deploying large scale biometric solutions. And publicity about biometrics has de-mystified the technologies and created a largely positive opinion among the general public.
Paul Collier is here to address the standards efforts now under way that should remove some of the final barriers that could influence the scope and speed with which biometrics are introduced. Briefly, the international standards process has been accelerated, and new institutions created to ensure biometrics can be deployed in virtually any security environment.
There have been many trials that tested the use of biometrics for border controls. The US INSPASS program (note your personal involvement in getting this started in 1993), CANPASS, and a significant test at Ben Gurion Airport have provided clear proof that biometrics are an effective way to clear passengers at airports. But few programs have been expanded to the extent necessary to make a significant difference from either a security or facilitation standpoint. Last year a GAO report provided a clear vision of how biometrics would be used at every step in the process to improve border controls: use them first to screen out criminals and terrorists from obtaining valuable travel documents, and then use them at the border to validate identity and speed up the clearance process.
The report, prepared in consultation with the biometric industry, correctly concluded that biometrics at the border is an idea that is ready for prime time. And unlike less insightful evaluations of the problem, the GAO investigation recognized that one must use different biometrics to solve different problems: there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all biometric. Some are good at screening applicants, others are better at validating identity in difficult customer service environments. For example, finger imaging and face recognition may be the only ways to screen out document fraud, but hand geometry and iris recognition are highly effective in expediting verification tasks.
This simply describes how biometrics work for border control – on one hand, conducting pre-issuance checks on identity; then registering travelers for verification at the border. Databases that contain a variety of biometric “signatures” and on-document biometrics (courtesy of the recently announced ICAO recommendation to add encrypted face images to passports) will combine to provide a variety of tools for border enforcement officials and services for travelers.
The sharp end of the implementation process will be the US-VISIT program. It calls for all foreign visitors to the US to be identified through the use of biometrics. How this is to be accomplished is yet to be determined, but the first phase of the project is likely to include some combination of face and finger recognition technology. The US and Canada have established a partnership to expand a number of biometric-based inspection programs that are designed to improve flows between the world’s largest trading partners (anecdotally, did you know that commerce across the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit roughly equals that between the US and China). But it may be a new trial involving United Airlines passengers that could provide the best indicator of how biometrics may be used not to identify potential violators, but to expedite large numbers of air travelers who are currently facing significant delays in getting through crowded airports.
The trial in question actually had its origins prior to September 11. In a study conducted by United, biometrics were seen as one of a couple of innovations that could provide better data on travelers and offer the Government the opportunity to make decision based on reliable information rather than random examinations. Such a step was also seen as a way to save resources and minimize impact on expensive airport facilities.
The trial, set to begin later this year for travelers between London Heathrow and Washington Dulles, will use biometrics to automate check-in and border clearance. In addition, it will provide an unprecedented level of detail about the traveler to government authorities, who in turn will grant special access to properly enrolled travelers. The United project is specifically designed to avoid the pitfalls of earlier trials: the enrollment process (i.e., capture of key data and biometric information) will be handled to a large degree by the airline; it will be easy for the average traveler to use; and it is designed to be scalable, to the point where many travelers are clearly identified and trusted to use special biometric clearance channels.
The goals of the project are to expedite border formalities in particular. It is here that the longest waits can occur as travelers queue to go through routine processes that are highly amenable to automation. In short, the objective is to adapt biometrics to redesign processes and facilities that can save money through the use of biometrics, allow border officials to direct their efforts toward potential problems rather than treat all passengers alike.
This floor plan offers an example of the savings that can be achieved by steering a significant number of travelers to automated clearance. Here, eight baggage carousels are used to handle the flow of passengers who must claim their bags before being afforded entry to the US. International travelers are very familiar with this process, which requires all baggage to be presented to Customs at the first point of arrival to the US.
If the process is highly automated – i.e., registered and enrolled travelers are steered to self-service kiosks due to the existence of thorough records checks and biometric identity verification – then the airport footprint drops dramatically and baggage is handled by exception rather than by the rule. Ultimately, the goal of the United project is to enable the direct transfer of 95% of the bags to a connecting flight without need for time-consuming (and often superfluous) checks.
Unlike previous programs that required governments to handle all of the enrollment tasks, the United project relies on airline personnel to gather key information on participants. Passport photos will be compared against State Department databases in real time to ensure the validity of the document, and biometric data captured by airline staff in an effort to balance the workload between all stakeholders. Once enrolled, travelers will be asked to hand in a formal application for participation in the program upon arrival in the U.S. By this time DHS will have run its record checks in advance of arrival, and will only need to verify once that the enrollee matches the biometric information now stored in the USAccess system.
Once a traveler is enrolled, he or she will use a self-service kiosk to trigger the check-in process. The passport will be used as the “token” that points to the database information on the traveler, using standard passport reader technology in conjunction with biometrics and airline reservations systems.
The system will then call for biometric verification against a database record that was created during enrollment. If identity is correctly matched, then a boarding pass is issued at the kiosk.
Next, the traveler will be instructed to fill out an electronic version of the Customs Declaration. No paper copy will be held by the traveler, and the record will be forwarded to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (DHS) well in advance of the passenger’s arrival.
After check-in, over 60 data elements pertaining to the traveler and his/her trip will be relayed to border authorities during transit. This way the Government has the information needed to make a sound decision on who gets further attention and who gets channeled to rapid clearance kiosks upon arrival.
Upon arrival, the traveler uses a kiosk identical to the one used at check-in in London. While most travelers will be instantly cleared, some may be referred for further examination if irregularities are detected, watch lists provide a warning, biometric don’t match, goods are being imported, or other flags are raised.
Finally, cleared travelers will be authorized to exit the arrival hall using Metro-style, biometric enabled gates. Those not cleared will use the regular staffed exit points to finish the process.
If the project is successful, this could set the stage for widespread adaptation of the USAccess concept. Other carriers could join United – it is not intended to be for one carrier only – and other countries could replicate the process. With the traveler’s permission, certain data could be shared to seamlessly expand the benefit at foreign ports of arrival. Put in practical terms, everyone wins without requiring a major investment by any single entity. Passengers experience a streamlined clearance system that is measurably better than today’s, and the same type of equipment can be used to validate identity at security checkpoints and boarding gates. Governments have much to gain from a system that automatically locks in identity of a majority of travelers: resources can be directed at problems rather than being distracted by routine tasks. The air transport industry is also a significant beneficiary by being able to steer travelers to automated alternatives to standing in line, and reducing the costs of facilities infrastructure.
USAccess is scheduled for implementation in mid-September. While it is certainly too early to say where the program goes from this modest start, at minimum it will provide a landmark gauge to assess how biometrics perform in complex, general user environments and provide invaluable data for use by researchers who will fine-tune the performance of the equipment. One final, if obvious, benefit: it is an admirable attempt to add an element of service to a process that has otherwise been bogged down by the security processes required in the wake of September 11.
At this point you can welcome questions if that is the format, or wait until the other speakers have finished before fielding inquiries from the audience.
Government Applicationsof Biometric Technologies Border & Aviation Security 19 June 2003
Evolution of Biometric Market Early 1980s Safety and security 11 Sep 2001 Physical access Criminal ID Intranet & E-business Internet Transaction Logical Access Authorization Late 1990s 2000
Drivers: 2003 Legislative requirements – Visa & passport reform: biometrics on all travel documents – Transportation security: worker & traveler identification – Health, Finance & “E-Sign” Programmatic initiatives – DoD Common Access Card, GSA Smart Card – DHS US-VISIT: +US$1 billion infrastructure project – TSA airport trials, transport worker identification card Awareness & Interest – General understanding of “fit” for biometrics in security – Privacy in perspective
Removing the Last Barriers Standardization – National Institute of Standards & Technology & M-1 Committee – ICAO – IATA Simplifying Passenger Travel Interest Group R&D, Large Scale Deployment – National Biometric Security Project (NBSP) – Center for Information Technology Research (Consortium of Universities and Companies) Government Policy – Defining uses and resolving conflicts: 1:n or 1:1?
Biometrics & Border Control November 2002 Report by U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) Examined uses for biometrics in two areas: – Document issuance (passport and visa) Multipleidentities Criminal record – Border clearance Linking bearer to issued document Expediting clearance
GAO Findings Biometrics is a proven technology for border control – e.g., INSPASS Four technologies found useful: – finger imaging 1:n criminal checks – face recognition 1:n lookout checks – hand geometry registered travelers – iris recognition registered travelers Security is maintained if information is stored in a database
Border Control System Pre-Issuance Lookout Database Checks Other (finger, face) Passport, Identity?Visa, or Registered Traveler Document Issuance Border Control Database (finger, face, iris, hand) Entry Verification
Practical Applications US-VISIT Entry-Exit System (2003-) – All visas – Future U.S. passports – All visa waiver travelers Canada-U.S. “Smart Border” Initiative – SENTRI, NEXUS, CANPASS-Air Registered Traveler – United Airlines & Transportation Security Administration (TSA) trial
United Airlines-TSA Trial Current Situation at Airports – Staffing and facility limitations = long lines for customers – Automated processes are used for a very small percentage of passengers – Baggage retrieval for international flights is cumbersome, requires lots of space, and slows down flight connections
USACCESS:United Airlines-TSA Trial USACCESS: U.S. Automated Check-in, Clearance and Entry Support System Biometric-based check-in and border clearance New systems architecture concept for interface with government systems Avoid problems of earlier programs – Simplify enrollment – Make it available to a large group of travelers – Make it easy to use!
USACCESS Goals Passenger expedited clearance for Immigration, Customs and Agriculture Better targeting for security checks More efficient airport facilities Effective use of Immigration resources Automation of current manual tasks
Air Carrier Pre-Enrollment Scan passport Confirm document against State Department information Capture biometric data (finger image, face) Provide official application Instruct traveler on use of new process
Step 1: Activating Record Passport scan Please place passport face down on the device below
Step 3: Customs Declaration Form Electronic declaration Take a moment to fill out your Customs Form electronically... Name: JOHN MICHAEL SMITH Address: 123 MAIN ST Passport #: 12345678 Nationality: USA From: FRANKFURT, GERMANY To: WASHINGTON DC, USA Flight #: UA945 1.) Have you been on a farm? YES YES NO NO
Step 4: Data Transfer United Airlines Pre-enrollment Biometric information Data management INS Customs Traveler AirlineBiometrics Data Trusted Govt Data transmittal Entity Record checks Databases FBI DEA Border Clearance Entry authorization
Step 5: Arrival Process Your bags have been sent to your connecting Passport scan flight. Please Face & finger biometric checks proceed to the gate. Print card showing passenger’s status OR Please claim your bags and proceed to Customs for secondary screening.
Step 6: Exit Control Cleared passengers exit through access control gates Passengers not cleared to go must use manual lines
USACCESS Benefits For passengers – Faster processing times – Less chance of random checks For government agencies – Improved security (targeting resources at problems) – Improved productivity (de-peaking workload) – Reduced demand for more real estate For the industry – More efficient use of facilities – Better allocation of staff
Next Steps for USACCESS Implement pilot project, September 2003 – Washington Dulles (IAD) Outbound check-in and arrival clearance – London Heathrow (LHR) Inbound check-in for selected Dulles flights – Evaluate potential uses for domestic traffic – Expand as warranted within air transport system
For Additional Information James Puleo Vice President firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. +1 240 506 4363