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HRS CEO discusses role of biometric technologies in combating terror attacks


Human Recognitions Systems (HRS) announced that CEO and founder Neil Norman recently appeared on BBC current affairs show Newsnight to discuss the shifting behaviours and the importance of technology, such as biometrics, to provide additional defences against terror attacks.

Norman joined Newsnight host Emily Maitlis and terrorism trauma counsellor Debora Del Vecchio-Scully to address the growing calls from many in Belgium and the transport security industry to put forth greater efforts to anticipate future attacks, and for governments and transportation agencies to provide the highest level of security possible in public places, following the recent terror attacks in Belgium.

“We are accepting the fact that technology has a role to play and we also accept that we are going to have to surrender convenience, something we crave a lot in the west,” said Norman. “One of the things that is going to have to be considered is pushing back the barriers, at the moment we only stop and check people at the ticket presentation point, whereas other airports around the world (in East Africa for example) tend to push the barrier out further.”

When asked about what organizations can do to profile potential threats, Norman cited work conducted by UN agency ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization).

For the past few years, the agency has been encouraging airports to adopt a grading system of profiling to distinguish different threats from one another with a degree of randomization.

“If you look at the profile of individuals who tend to commit these sorts of terrorist acts, they do fit a particular profile,” said Norman. “It’s not comfortable for us to discuss perhaps, but I think there are ways and means (to profile them) and the ICAO has been looking to investigate this further.”

As these kinds of terror attacks continue to devastate Europe and the rest of the world, many have turned to high tech companies, particularly those that specialize in biometrics and identity management, to provide advanced solutions to combat these issues.

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