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TSA and CBP discuss travel biometrics progress

Idemia, Iris ID, SITA see more biometrics deployments ahead
TSA and CBP discuss travel biometrics progress

As January is about to conclude, many companies and government agencies are taking stock of their efforts in biometrics for travel in 2021.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), for instance, has recently released a list of recent accomplishments in transportation security, as well as discussed some of these findings with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at FTE Global 2021.

Finally, Idemia and Iris ID have released reports on how to best use face and iris biometrics, respectively, to check individuals’ identities when they are traveling, and SITA reviews indications of ambitious investments in biometrics at Chinese airports.

TSA and CBP discuss biometric collaboration for travel

Diane J. Sabatino, deputy executive assistant commissioner of Office of Field Operations at U.S. CBP, and Austin Gould, assistant administrator of RCA at TSA delivered a joint keynote speech at FTE Global 2021, hinting at a joint solution for digital identity management in the travel space.

According to FTE, the executives discussed the existing collaboration between their agencies on biometrics for travel.

Sabatino and Gould also confirmed TSA and U.S. CBP will continue to work together in 2022, with a particular focus on the privacy aspects of biometric solutions.

“We are on the cusp of implementing a comprehensive identity management solution,” Sabatino told FTE. This, the CBP executive said, will possibly bring “great benefits to the industry.”

TSA lists 2021 accomplishments, includes biometrics

The TSA article lists 21 accomplishments in transportation security, including the face biometrics-based digital identity program it launched in cooperation with Delta Air Lines last October.

Other accomplishments include an increase in passenger volume, record numbers of firearms stopped during security checks, and a collaboration with Apple on the development of a mobile driver’s license for the Apple Wallet.

“In many ways, 2021 was a year of resilience as the dedicated TSA workforce worked diligently to screen near pre-pandemic passenger volumes at the nation’s airports while facing three major waves of COVID-19 across the country,” comments TSA Administrator David Pekoske.

“Despite the challenges, we facilitated freedom of movement for passengers and goods, and we made great progress in security innovation in close coordination with our federal partners and industry stakeholders.”

Biometrics will continue to change air travel, Idemia says

A post on the company blog examines the main travel technology trends of 2021, and claims biometrics and automation will continue to improve air travel applications.

In the article, Idemia asked Pedro Alves, VP, Global Business Development of Extended Borders, and Emmanuel Wang, VP of Marketing Border Control & Passenger Facilitation, about the challenges of the continuing pandemic and the future of air travel.

According to the executives, an ever-increasing number of passengers worldwide is willing to use biometrics to speed up airport processes, particularly the boarding process.

More specifically, biometric contactless solutions, such as those using facial recognition, would be the most popular among travelers.

Wang also mentioned multibiometrics solutions for travel, and how they could become the standard for the upcoming  European Entry/Exit System.

Iris ID report suggests iris biometrics as future of travel

Iris recognition is another type of biometric technology experiencing substantial growth due to the pandemic, according to a new report from Iris ID.

The document starts by describing the technology as the most accurate form of biometric identification, then analyses the limitations of COVID-19-related health and safety measures in air travel.

To circumvent these issues, Iris ID then describes a potential biometric travel program that supports both face and iris biometrics. Such a system would utilize the company’s new iCAM D2000 scanner, which features multimodal simultaneous capture of iris and face biometrics.

Single biometric token for half of Chinese airlines by 2024

Every airline in China plans to invest in upgrading its passenger management system by 2024, according to the 2021 Air Transport IT Insights survey from SITA.

A post by the company reviewing results from the Chinese market notes that by 2024, 86 percent plan to have biometric boarding in place, and 58 percent plan to have a secure single biometric token in use across all touchpoints.

The survey results from China also indicate that automating digital health pass verifications and sustainability are rising priorities for airlines in the country.

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