Orlando: Face recognition for biometric entry/exit

Facial recognition to identify all international passengers at Orlando airport (Business Traveller)

“Instead of handling paper documents, boarding passengers will queue in turnstile-like lanes, stepping onto yellow footprints and looking into a camera to have their face scanned. The scan will then be compared to images obtained from passports or other travel documents to confirm identity.”

The aspect of this program dealing with facial recognition for departing passengers is especially interesting. Airline gate agents probably aren’t trained to detect identity fraud to the degree that customs agents are. Their priority is to board the aircraft as efficiently as possible.

Recording the biometric transaction will also begin to provide rigorous data that may also inform efforts to meet the repeated US Congress requirements for biometric exit technology.

Much more information with pictures and video is available at the Orlando Sentinel.

TWIC hasn’t been popular with transportation workers…

…but I get the sense that the transportation workers don’t oppose the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) on principle, rather, implementation just hasn’t worked out. The U.S. General Accounting Office seems to share workers’ assessment.

Scrap TWIC? GAO report slams port credential program (Land Line Magazine)

Truck drivers and others who work at U.S. ports have grumbled for years about the expenses and hassles of obtaining a Transportation Worker Identification Credential, or TWIC.

TWIC – a biometric security card capable of storing fingerprints, residency documents and other information – was designed to make ports and major warehouse areas less vulnerable to potential terrorists.

A federal investigative report released this week says the TWIC program’s efforts to implement a remote card reader system haven’t worked, and said Congress should consider scrapping the 10-year-old billion-dollar program altogether and starting over with a new credential.

As we have discussed in other TWIC-related posts, the interoperability issues involved in having one card that works at every port, warehouse, transshipment hub, border, etc. haven’t been overcome and the administrative load on those required to carry the card have been heavy.

UPDATE:
See also:
TSA Defends TWIC Reader Program (Homeland Security Today)

“TWIC readers determine whether a card is authentic, valid and issued by TSA,” Sadler testified. “The readers also check that the card has not expired and, by accessing the cancelled card list, can determine if the card has been revoked or reported lost or stolen. When used in the biometric mode, readers confirm through a biometric fingerprint match that the person using the card is the rightful owner of the card. The TWIC card and reader system can perform these checks virtually anywhere with portable or fixed readers because connectivity to an external database is not required. [ed. emphasis mine]

How does the italicized part work? Without at least intermittent connectivity to an external database how are lost cards to be rejected?

Biometrics in school busses

Kidtrack biometric system keeps track of kids on school buses (gizmag)

A lot of parents worry when their kids first start taking the school bus by themselves. What if they’re snatched from the bus stop? What if they get off at the wrong stop? What if the bus is hijacked? Well, while the Kidtrack system can’t keep any of those things from happening, it can at least keep track of which children are on which buses, and where.

Philippines: Fingerprint regulation of bus system gets positive review from local commuter

Biometric boosts (Malaya Business Insight)

I FELT like I was in the twilight zone last Friday and this Monday. Although there was some traffic, it wasn’t anything like the monstrous bottlenecks I experience every end and start of the work week.

It was a pleasant surprise actually and thanks to the Metro Manila Development Authority (paging Atty. Francis Tolentino).

The website Top Gear reported that MMDA “has rolled out an enhanced bus-dispatch system that not only regulates the number of public-utility buses on EDSA but also monitors the drivers manning them.”

It further reports that the “Bus Management and Dispatch System (BMDS) is the first bus-reduction program in the country that utilizes biometrics (through fingerprint-scanning) to identify and monitor PUB drivers, “ensuring the safety of commuters that patronize PUBs.”

Earlier post: Philippines: Manila development authority adopts fingerprint biometrics in bus dispatch and monitoring system

Philippines: Manila development authority adopts fingerprint biometrics in bus dispatch and monitoring system

UPDATED – January 31 below:

MMDA to begin biometrics-based bus monitoring system Jan. 31 (GMA News)

On Thursday, Jan. 31, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority will put in effect a biometric-based bus dispatch and monitoring system to regulate the number of public utility buses along EDSA.

The Bus Management and Dispatch System (BMDS), also monitors the drivers of these buses, the MMDA said Wednesday.

“Our aim is to instill discipline among PUB drivers and make them aware that we at the MMDA, together with other agencies, are capable of monitoring them, especially their driving behavior,” the MMDA website quoted chairman Francis Tolentino as saying.

According to the article, the new system meets several goals associated with the smooth running of the Manila bus system, a system that involves central coordination of many private providers. The new system seeks to better coordinate the providers to provide optimum service levels as demand changes and to better insure that the drivers don’t have too many outstanding traffic violations.

UPDATE…
Finally, MMDA stops bus driver with 99 violations (Inquirer News)

Before he could be issued a ticket for his 100th traffic violation, this bus driver was told to keep off the road on the first day of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) Bus Management and Dispatch System (BMDS).

MMDA Assistant General Manager Emerson Carlos said the man, one of several drivers grounded on Thursday, was shown to have 99 unsettled traffic tickets.

Launched Thursday, the BMDS seeks to cut down the number of unsafe buses on the road by preventing public utility bus (PUB) drivers with previous traffic records from even driving out of their terminals.

Under the scheme, drivers have to undergo fingerprint or biometric scanning at designated dispatch terminals before they are given the go signal to ply their routes.

That didn’t take long! This and 284 other drivers were grounded on the first day of the new system’s operation.

It’s not clear that it was the fingerprint provision of the new program that caught out the bus driver with 99 unaddressed violations but it does give the reader a sense of the issues the MMDA is grappling with.

Hop on the Bus, Gus. Drop off the Key, Lee.

Biometric Technology Gets on the School Bus (Press Release via Benzinga)When children board or exit the bus the BlinkSpot iris scanning technology recognizes the child and sends real time reports to the school along with an individual email to each parent verifying the time and location of their child.

The effort combines Verizon, Eye-D, and 3M Cogent capabilities.

I’m curious to see how this works out. An application that provides real-time information on children’s interactions with the school bus system is, obviously, highly desirable.

Will the technology fit the deployment? How well will it work? How passive is the use model (i.e. must the children actively engage the system?). How much training will drivers and children require? How long does each transaction take? Will that cause traffic jams? What are the costs in money and time?

These are the questions that would-be customers and system developers need to ask, answer, and agree upon.

Thinking this one through, my hunch is that from a pure utility point of view, this is a finger app. But in the real world other considerations may apply. If some tech companies want to test their technology, their ability to work together, product design and feasibility, and they find a willing and supportive test environment — in this case a school and community — then that’s what will happen. Lessons will be learned and the state of the art will have been advanced.

Perfect; Good; Tech.; People; etc. It’s a fun landscape in which to participate.

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