Cross Match gets U.K. fingerprint scanner deal

Cross Match Technologies Inc. of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., has won a $4.4 million contract to provide fingerprint scanners to the United Kingdom's Home Office Biometrics Framework Agreement.

The 1,385 Guardian fingerprint scanning systems will be deployed as part of a new visa program implemented by the U.K. at overseas embassies and consulates. Cross Match is delivering the systems in cooperation with its partner Steria U.K.

Under the program, Great Britain will be the first country in the European Union to collect 10 fingerprints and a digital photo from every visa applicant. The prints are then checked against U.K. government databases and terrorist watch lists.

"The introduction of biometric visas is a key part of our contribution to the Border and Immigration Agency's strategic objective to strengthen our borders," Andrew Pestell, head of procurement for UKvisas, said in a news release. "The recording of biometric information through our new fingerprint readers allows us to fix an individual's identity at the earliest point practicable so that only those with permission can travel to the U.K."

The Guardian scanners are designed for high-volume applications such as visa issuance and border control.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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