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Gemalto discusses biometric technology to help DHS track children illegally crossing the border


Digital security firm Gemalto believes biometric ID cards can help the Department of Homeland Security track the thousands of undocumented children illegally crossing the border, according to a report by Watchdog.org.

The Department of Homeland Security has long been using its centralized system, the Automated Biometric Identification System, to store collected biometric data for immigration, national security and law enforcement purposes. However, the system is unable to account for thousands of undocumented children illegally crossing the border.

Neville Pattinson, senior vice president of government affairs for Gemalto, says the federal government should issue identification cards to these children to maintain a record of them just in case they are deported and are looking to re-enter the country.

Pattinson estimates the project to cost U.S. taxpayers several million dollars to implement and would involve advanced biometric identification technologies that allow users to securely and conveniently confirm their identity while still protecting their privacy.

Gemalto currently develops and provides border technologies used in Ghana and Morocco. Using identification cards, Gemalto could effectively track the undocumented child’s photograph along with other important biometric information.

”I really think that children need to be treated with a certain respect and manner, but they are illegal immigrants and so we should certainly be looking at making sure that once we help them, we record their information as we can establish it,” Pattinson told Watchdog.org. “Certainly their biometrics, so that can be used down the road to prove that they’re the same individual.”

Reported previously, Gemalto was awarded a multi-year contract to supply biometric ePassports to the Republic of Moldova.

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