Industry welcomes UK ePassport plans


Parts of the security industry have welcomed the British Chancellor's announcement that the ePassport gates at Heathrow will soon be extended to visitors from outside the European Union, with those arriving from the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand able to make use of faster border controls.

Zia Hayat, CEO of Callsign, an identification company, applauds this initiative, but argues that as we find ourselves in a digital age, which is effectively borderless, we need to be equally as thoughtful in proving our digital identities.

“As digital services continue to become commonplace, and more of our daily activities are carried out online, the Chancellor needs to realise that Britain needs to be “open for business” both physically and virtually. A major part of this is being about to prove our identities, whether that be in an airport or on a retail website. This need is being recognised worldwide, in fact, the World Identity Network (WIN) has just announced a partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to establish a Platform for Good Digital Identity.”

“We have found that the most secure solution is to incorporate both hard (facial recognition, fingerprints, iris scanning) and soft (behavioural characteristics e.g. how people type, move their mouse or hold their smart phone) biometrics, which are personal and unique to each individual, and combine them with advance machine learning - something we call Intelligence Driven Authentication. Only then can organisations and governments be confident that the individual in question is who they say they are.”

The service is currently only available to UK and EEA citizens, as well as frequent visitors from certain other countries who pay for the Registered Traveller scheme.

It was revealed earlier this year that the Border Force at Heathrow airport had only reached its target of a 45-minute wait or less for 95 per cent of visitors from outside the EEA on one day during the month of July.

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