Biometric scanning is being tested in Heathrow Airport

By EDRi · December 20, 2006

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

A biometric scanning system called miSense started to be used as a trial on
December 2006 at Heathrow Airport, as part of the International Air
Transport Association’s Simplifying Passenger Travel Programme.

The system allows passengers to scan their passport and right index finger,
creating an electronic key that permits them to skip boarding queues, thus
aiming to simplify their journey through the airport. The UK Government
decided to use it to control immigration and check the identity of people
coming to Great Britain.

The UK immigration minister Liam Byrne, said the scanning system would
improve security but also allow the passengers to go through the check-in
more easily and rapidly: “I think it’s going to be popular. People want
secure borders. If we can find a way of strengthening security and making it
easier for legitimate travellers to move around then I think the public are
going to want that.”

Initially, the miSense system will be used for Heathrow’s Terminal 3 flights
to Hong Kong and Dubai. A second stage of the trial will allow all
passengers flying from Terminal 3 to use the system by registering their 10
fingerprints, a scan of each eye and a scan of their face that will be
linked to their passport information. Then, the passengers will be provided
with a membership card that they can use to go through the system by using
only their fingerprints for identification.

Simon Davies from Privacy International considered that the biometric
scanning technology is still unstable and unreliable and pointed out: “At
this early stage of biometric understanding this programme can have only
extremely limited value.”

The purpose of the trial is to check the technical performance of the system
and to see how it will be accepted by the passengers.

If successful, the system could adopted in airports all over the world.

miSense system

Face scans for air passengers a step nearer (8.12.2006)

Biometric science arrives at Heathrow (6.12.2006)