The Importance of 10 Finger Capture During the Biometric Screening of Travelers

THE CHALLENGE

Border security officials across the globe are faced with the chaos from the recent mass exodus of refugees fleeing the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, further aggravated by the flow of migrants hoping to escape poverty in East Asia and Northern Africa. Terrorists and criminals have used this terrible crisis to their advantage, and are using refugees as cover to infiltrate Europe and commit acts of violence. Global security leaders are urgently seeking solutions to enhance safety and security by closely monitoring and analyzing passengers’ travel around the world. The issue of national security in regards to the efficient vetting of migrants has leap frogged to the forefront of political discussions and elections around the world. Global leaders need a solution that would allow them to effectively screen immigrants and travelers as they move from country to country.

In response to these crises, many countries are implementing enhanced biometric identification systems for arriving and departing travelers and migrants, with special focus on the automated reading and matching of fingerprints. While this measure has improved their ability to screen and record the passage of people, security officials are unable to identify which travelers may be potential threats without connecting these fingerprints to international criminal databases.

The key to success is consistent application of threat assessment approaches coupled with interoperability with international criminal identification databases. International security databases, such as Interpol’s Stolen & Lost Travel Document (SLTD) list, are checked regularly at most European airports, but the vast majority of developing nations perform no identity verification checks on travelers and migrants at their airports and border points. Likewise, many developing nations lack a consistent risk assessment and management approach, which can allow threats to circumvent security measures.

Additionally, many countries that do conduct security checks typically invest resources exclusively into the risk assessment of travelers as they enter the country, but are less stringent on those transiting or departing their country. To achieve more comprehensive global security, immigration officials need to implement and apply consistent, regular risk assessments of every traveler against international criminal databases at both departures and arrivals for real-time identification of potential security threats.

STRATEGIC SOLUTION

Securiport directly addresses this challenge with an innovative and cost-effective solution. Focusing on developing and improving our 10-Finger Capture, Segmentation, & Matching process allows us to help countries collect information that can be easily compared to international catalogs. By upgrading to ten-fingerprint capture, border security officials can create and maintain richer biometrics databases for exchanges and crosschecks with other intelligence agencies (i.e. Interpol, FBI, FSB, etc.) The use of an immigration control database system to look for possible connections to travelers helps track traveler movement, spot potential identity fraud, connect travelers to known associates, and prevent further criminal activity. These databases can likewise support local investigations, such as crosschecking latent fingerprints found on scene and with no matches found in a local forensic database.

The first step involves capture of the fingerprints. Securiport’s solutions are tailorable to collect any combination of fingers, with the goal of collecting all ten of new arrivals’ fingerprints to provide officials with more data for comparative searches. Securiport uses the best-of-market optical fingerprint scanners for primary capture to provide rapid capture. Securiport also offers its exclusive ultrasound bio- metric devices for particularly difficult captures or high-resolution secondary capture, as ultrasound devices are able to handle the presence of dirt, grease, or excessive wear on the fingers.

Segmentation, which divides the captured image into individual prints and checks for quality, is done with a combination of Securiport’s proprietary image processing algorithms and technology from our vendors and partners. This enables the fastest possible capture time while ensuring the quality necessary for the matching algorithms to work at peak efficiency and accuracy.

The final and most important step is matching. When checking against a ten-finger database, global security officials can compare prints from any known finger to the ten-finger collection records. Securiport integrates with best-of-breed Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) matching technologies, which can rapidly compare multiple fingerprints against the millions in archive, improving the speed and accuracy of the system, and increasing the chance of identifying a target in the database.

Our Capture, Segmentation, and Matching approach is tuned to provide a better traveler experience and improve security by expediting the risk assessment stage of the immigration process and simultaneously reducing wait times. Securiport’s state of the art optical technology provides this foundational improvement, but also lays the infrastructural groundwork to emerging technologies such as multi-spectral or over-the-air capture methods.

RESULTS & CONSEQUENCES

A rich, global, and varied vendor base has made high quality optical reading technology ubiquitous and readily available to security officials, enabling them to gather fingerprints and build up national databases worldwide. It is vitally important that international security officials work in tandem, sharing both information and technology, so that they can all access the same database(s) to identify potential security threats.

Implementing a screening system that uses Securiport’s Capture, Segmentation, & Matching approach that can re- cord all ten fingerprints of travelers as they enter and leave nations, and connecting those systems to international catalogues so that they can be compared to criminal and immigration databases around the world will enable security officials to identify and seize potential threats before acts of violence can be carried out. It will also stem the tide of criminal smuggling activity such as human and drug trafficking, which often fund terrorist organizations.

By collecting the right data, Securiport ensures complete- ness of information and interoperability with international databases, ensuring that potential security threats will be identified and prosecuted more rapidly, and national sovereignty and security will be maintained.