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Biometric and RFID Banner

The so-called  "registered flyer" programs offered by airports are in the nascent stage, but  this RFID technology combined with biometric authentication won't be a cure-all for  the airport security issue at all in terms of the mounting security threats thus far unimaginable.

Orlando, Florida and San Jose, California have 1,000 to 2,000  frequent flyers, respectively, registered by  keeping their biometric data  in the database. The recent news from Orlando reported a high rejection rate of 20%,due to metallic stuff detected in registered flyers' shoes.  

Smart mix?

This new combo technology aims at reading or scanning registered passengers' biometric characteristics in real time in order  to match the biometric data already saved in the database. This system is normally configured to have fingerprint-reading touch sensors while reading iris or retina within a 90-feet distance. It comes with a metal detector.

Reading fingerprints and iris or retina or facial image in a combined way is a good idea, but mixing this technology with a metal detector is not a smart mix. Configurations of this lack of engineering mind will cancel off  individual advantages of the technologies involved. In other words, this mix will reverse the synergism expected to be achieved by combining different technologies. It can be compared to the current  tollgate booth configurations providing separate booths for carpool, cash and RFID tags. Part of tollgate congestions comes from this separation itself.

Biometric Authentication and its technological limits

Biometric authentication needs prior storage of your biometric data in dBAse and has advantages in various segments.

However, biometric data
  •  can be erased
  •  can be copied
  •  can be stolen
  •  need costly data updates
  •  may have a high rate of  reading failure
  •  may have a high rate of misreading
  •  may be affected by  injury,  accidents and temporary illness,etc.

RFID and its limitations

And RFID technology, despite its popularity and wide-ranging advantages, can

  • be read by unauthorized readers, though some RFID tags come with a shield to prevent unauthorized reading
  • have an effective range of 90 feet, though some active RFID tags are featured with a  range of few hundred meters
  • have a high rate of misreading and  reading failure, when it comes to moving targets like traffic

"One at a time" vs. "Thousands at a time"

Both RFID and biometric authentication, when it comes to mass surveillance at transport hubs like airports, are the " one at a time in line & think inside the building" technology. This issue will be repeatedly discussed in  another page of Transport Hub Security.

In spite of technological limitations, RFID and biometrics are welcomed by governments. That is probably because it is a Hobson's choice or a curate's egg, while they believe there is no complementary technology to make up this shortcoming. Compare the speed of  teleprinters, fax machines and  e-mail.

When doing mass surveillance of  airport passengers, for instance, using the RFID chip-embedded Federal ID, for both arrivals and departures, might work smoothly? It is like using a teleprinter, sending a letter after a letter. To improve the speed, check-in and check-out lanes can be increased to 12 to 36. Then it may sound like sending a message by a fax machine.

In case of  DriveOnPay™ technology,however, you can expect to allow flight passengers check in  at the speed of e-mail and at random , while they are still in their vehicles outside the airport building, and that even within a range of 5 miles from the airport.  Supposing the  5-mile  stretch has  6 lanes, for example,  then approximately  4,400  passengers will be able to check in  simultaneously within  a fraction of  a minute.

Compared with RFID and biometrics authentication,  DriveOnPay™ enables targeted security checks at a select group and surgical operations of singling out terror suspects in a speedy way.

[The core technology of DriveOnPay™ and its deployment scenarios can only be disclosed to interested parties under a non-disclosure agreement and then licensed to qualified  and competent licensees on a non-exclusive basis.]

Technology comparison with RFID plus biometric authentication  is made at this website in a limited scope of  where DriveOnPay™  can be applicable and prevalent. In areas other than mobile technology, RFID and biometrics undoubtedly have their own efficacy.

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