Biometric ID program for displaced Rohingya completes first phase

A UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) program to count families among displaced Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and identify individuals with biometric registration has completed its first phase, counting over half a million people, a UNHCR spokesperson says. The program is overseen by Bangladesh’s Minister of Home Affairs and conducted jointly by the UNHCR and Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC). The first phase was carried out in the Kutupalong camp, makeshift areas around it, and the makeshift area of Balukhali,

EU to collect biometrics of all visitors, could include post-Brexit UK citizens

The European Parliament has approved a new entry/exit system (ESS) to store the biometric information of all non-EU citizens visiting in and out of the EU Schengen area, which could also include British citizens, post-Brexit, according to a report by Computer Weekly. As part of the Smart Borders package, the electronic system will comprise of a central database storing the name, travel document, fingerprints, facial image, date and place of entry, exit and entry refusal of every third-country national –

Australian airport to trial contactless biometric scanners for travelers

Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection will soon trial “contactless” biometric technology at Sydney and Canberra’s international airports in the coming weeks, according to a report by The Straits Times. The pilot, which is a part of the federal government’s “seamless traveler” initiative, will allow international visitors to walk directly to their baggage without having to display their passports. The biometric data — which are based on faces, irises and possibly fingerprints and gait — will be matched against

Nigeria Communications Commission stresses centralized identity database

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has once again emphasized the federal government should consolidate its multiple databases into a single database to reinforce the country’s identity management plan, according to a report by This Day. Tony Ojobo, director of public Affairs at NCC, made the decision while delivering a paper at a public forum organized by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR). He said that creating a centralized database for the country would ensure that all Nigerians have easy

Australian airports may trial iPhones to verify identity of overseas travelers

Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection has recommended outfitting Border Force officers at the country’s eight international airports with iPhones and attachable biometric devices to verify the identity of overseas travellers of interest in near real-time, according to a report by IT News. The department has tested the portable biometric scanners at Brisbane international airport with the intention of replacing the bulky scanners which officers have complained are inconvenient to carry. The Enhanced Biometrics at the Border (EBatB) technology

Legislation struggling with deployment pace of biometric identity systems, says privacy expert

In an article published today in Technology Science, a Harvard-based journal, World Privacy Forum founder Pam Dixon argues that legislation is struggling to keep up with the deployment of biometric identity systems resulting in a high risk to fundamental civil liberties and privacy, particularly in India, but also with serious ramifications in the United States. Europe is also vulnerable to ‘mission-creep’ and risks failing the ‘Do no Harm’ principle. “According to the World Bank, 50 percent of countries with a

Nigeria loses $2b annually to agencies’ duplication of biometrics data collection

A Nigerian information technology expert has revealed that the country’s federal government may be losing $2 billion annually to the duplication of biometric collection by government agencies, according to a report by The Guardian. Jacob Edo, an official of the IT unit of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), said that funds used in the management of biometric infrastructure including the money paid out to consultants may have accumulated to the lump sum. In discussing the proliferation rate of

NIST drafts new safeguards for information systems, Internet of things

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued a new draft revision of its Special Publication (SP) 800-53, Security and Privacy Controls for Information Systems and Organizations. Developed by a joint task force comprised of civil, defense and intelligence representatives, the draft takes into account the ongoing effort to create a unified information security framework for the federal government. This latest draft particularly goes beyond both information security and the federal government to address practices that all kinds

New immigration bill could increase use of biometric data at border

A new immigration bill introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), which is currently posted on his website, would significantly expand surveillance along the U.S.-Mexico border and potentially increase the use of biometric data and drones, according to a report by The Hill. Released last week, the bill includes several provisions that would alter the country’s existing border security policy. One of the provisions calls for the implementation of a “biometric exit data system” at the nation’s 15 busiest international airports

Home Office issues $118m biometrics, digitization tender for UK Visas and Immigration

The Home Office has issued a tender for “front end services” including biometrics and the digitization of supporting evidence valued at £91 million (US$118.3 million) on behalf of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), according to a report by Kable Government Computing. The length of the the contract is three years, with a built-in option for the Home Office, acting through UKVI to extend the agreement for two additional years. The contracted services include an identity check, the capture of biometrics,