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Colombia deploys Tech5 biometrics to streamline issuance of gun permits, increase security

Colombia deploys Tech5 biometrics to streamline issuance of gun permits, increase security

Indumil, Colombia’s state-owned weapons manufacturer and permit issuer, has selected Tech5, together with proprietary technology firm Accesos Holográficos, as partners for more accurate and secure biometric identification to remodel the issuance of permits for those purchasing arms in the country.

According to Tech5, the move is part of efforts to ensure that those holding firearms are those with the legal authorization to do so, thus enhancing trust in the legal authorization process.

This move will allow the implementation of the T5-Cryptograph, a secure digital container, which will hold both biometric and demographic data of an individual gun owner, and integrate it into the gun permit.

Using a smartphone, the identity of an individual gun owner can be biometrically confirmed in seconds, meaning the new document will allow authorities, even without internet connectivity, to biometrically verify the identity of the firearm carrier.

Applications for gun permits are assessed by an arms control department within the military, and the government’s Indumil has a monopoly on sales. According to a 2017 survey, only 14 percent of 4.3 million firearms in Colombia were registered, according to the Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA).

Commenting on the deal, Juan Carlos Sánchez Sánchez, South American regional director for Accesos Holográficos, said: “We are convinced that the implementation and function of digital identification enhanced by biometrics on firearm permits will only serve to increase the security in the country as well as provide law enforcement agents with a tool to verify the identity of gun owners in a fast and accurate manner.

“These patented technologies, which will be integrated with the new generation firearm permits, will make it difficult if not impossible to falsify and/or adulterate firearm permits.”

Indumil intends to issue more than 700,000 permits in the next three years, with separate permits to be issued for different firearms even if they are purchased by one person.

Also speaking on the development, Coronel Hoover Ríos, director of arms and explosives trade control of the general command of the armed forces, remarked: “To be clear, the implementation of Tech5 biometric identification technologies will allow law enforcement to be more efficient in their work in the field given that they will now have a tool at their disposal that will legally support their operations.

“In addition, the new technology will also facilitate control in remote locations in the country as there is no need for an internet connection to verify the identity of permit holders.”

On his part, Tech5 Vice President of Sales for the Caribbean and Latin America Jeremy James said he hopes using their technology for public security in Colombia will set the stage for its adoption for many other use cases.

Tech5 recently opened new offices in India and Portugal to expand its R&D efforts, and was also admitted as a member of the Open Identity Exchange to leverage its inclusive technologies.

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