Transportation security solution debuts

Four technology companies have designed a suite of integrated information technology solutions to address the federal government's transportation security challenges, the companies announced March 5.

Called the National Integrated Security Suite, the solution builds on a biometric airport security system developed by Electronic Data Systems Corp. and used at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport since 1998. It combines biometric and risk assessment technologies that airports either may implement separately or assemble together in a single solution.

Participating with EDS of Plano, Texas, in developing the suite were PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. of New York, Sun Microsystems Inc. of Palo Alto, Calif., and Oracle Corp. of Redwood Shores, Calif.

The suite comprises the "known traveler" and "secure employees" transportation security solutions, the companies said.

Known traveler is a voluntary passenger registration program that enables government security agencies to establish identity and assess the security risk for registered travelers, thereby facilitating their movement through security checkpoints. In the known traveler program, passengers register either on the Web or at an airport kiosk by filling out a brief questionnaire and agreeing to a background check. Once registered, the passenger is directed to an airline affinity club to receive a smart travel identification card.

After providing proof of identity, an electronic fingerprint and iris scan data are encrypted on the card. The smart card is then used to authenticate the passenger and provide a risk assessment at a secure checkpoint for registered members.

Secure employee is a registration and authentication program designed to work with existing employee information to identify and assess security risk. Specifically, secure employee uses a 10-print scanner to obtain fingerprints required for pre-employment background investigations of airport employees and contractors, thus authenticating identity and establishing a risk assessment.

The employee's biometric data is used to manage access to secured areas and computer systems.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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