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Security screening and passenger identity- use of Bio-Keys

Reader comment on item: Time to Profile Airline Passengers?

Submitted by G. Prithviraj (United Arab Emirates), Aug 23, 2006 at 06:02

I am a regular reader of your articles and I enjoy your forthright / no-nonsense approach.

We need to use biometric identification system 100% (finger printing, iris scan, voice or a combination of these). Today technology is available to give biometric key to any one without storing actually the finger prints or such details in the computer. For any identification, only that person can match that key with his biometric parameter. This overcomes the objection of human rights violation (the bio-identity can not be stolen). For that matter all our mobile phone call history is available for scrutiny by security and that way there is erosion of privacy already.

If the bio-key id (which is encrypted and could be transmitted electronically) is made compulsory for booking and buying tickets internationally, it gives the security the extra time needed to verify the background of the passenger. In other words, the profiling could take place without the knowledge of the passenger through his bio-key. This way no passenger can travel on fake passport.

Even without all these biometrics, the airline people know the names, passport number, religion and address details of the passengers. The computer can highlight muslims, country of origin, seedy addresses, etc. All passengers will be in the same queue. But those 10% or so passengers could be summoned discreetly and checked fully. The baggage could be screened more closely, the personal effects could be checked more carefully and interrogation could be carried out - all without other passengers not even being aware of any of these. If in doubt the baggage of such a dubious passenger could be deliberately left out without the pasenger's knowledge. Large dossiers can be maintained for any person in the computer. Most of the regular passengers and non-muslim travellers could be cleared easily and no seperate queue is needed for Caucasians, Arabs, Muslims etc.

But all these will in no way prevent a bomb explosion prior to boarding the aircraft! Luckily the terrorists want martyrdom only in the sky so that the passgae to heaven will be shorter!!!

Today we have mixed population in many metropolitan cities of the world. By racial profiling one may cut down the actual waiting time at the airport but the fabric of such a multi-ethnic society would be in tatters very soon (already the fabric is worn out and thin).

Thanks & regards,

Raj (Prithviraj)


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