French to test airport biometrics

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France has announced plans that may make it the next country to mandate biometrics as an airport security measure.

France has announced plans that may make it the next country to mandate biometrics as an airport security measure.

Media reports said this week that France's civil aviation authority -- the Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC) -- would start testing biometrical data using technologies such as iris, face and fingerprint recognition with a view to adopting biometrics-based security at French airports.

The US has been involved in a highly publicised and controversial attempt to mandate biometric identification as a passport control measure for all nationalities.

However, the US plans have repeatedly been delayed, with recent reports suggesting the measure will be phased in over the next few years.

In France, airports in the cities of Paris, Toulouse, Lyon, Nice, Lille and Bordeaux will participate in a six-month test of biometric data that has been collected over the past two or three months.
  
The French wish to determine which data -- iris, fingerprint or face -- is most reliable.

French service provider Euxia would work with Belgian system integrator BioWise on the project, which has been sparked by a request by the European Aviation Safety Agency.

Media reports claim the biggest obstacle isn't the technology but privacy issues. Data on private persons must be managed extremely carefully if agencies are not to fall foul of national privacy laws.

 

 

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