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NineID and Alfapass to provide biometric access systems to Belgian ports

NineID and Alfapass to provide biometric access systems to Belgian ports

Belgian authorities have authorized two companies to provide face biometric access control systems for the country’s ports.

Flemish companies NineID and Alfapass were greenlighted last Thursday after receiving approval to process biometric data from the government.

Alfapass managing director Lode De Maesschalck told The Brussels Times that the company has been managing 40 terminals in the Antwerp port area for some time. The company’s technology was developed by private companies.

“We currently monitor over 47,000 digital identities, including 30,000 truck drivers and many people who are not Belgian nationals,” De Maesschalck says. “With roughly 110,000 visitors entering the port daily, there is plenty of room for growth.”

The two firms were approved after the government established a legal basis for biometric access control with the Maritime Security Act, which came into effect on 1 January, Belga News Agency reports.

Belgium’s minister of Justice and the North Sea, Paul Van Tigchelt, who was in charge of approving the two companies, highlighted that the port of Antwerp is much more difficult to secure than its rival port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The new biometric access control system should make it more difficult for drug smugglers and others to enter the terminals.

“This law provides for better perimeter security with more and better fencing, cameras and now also the use of biometrics for access control,” says Van Tigchelt.

NineID provides biometric access control through facial recognition, and closed a US$1.2 million seed round of financing in June, led by Pitchdrive. The previous round, held under the firm’s previous name Nine Engineering, closed with US$1.2 million.

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