If I can fault the industry on anything it would be that we don't have prominent spokespersons to stand up and bat these fears out of the park. It's always the same thing over and over again. You'd think by now there'd be a prepared, well-documented answer to rule out doubts, or at least minimize them if they are unavoidable. For now we are leaving it to the principals of the respective government departments to defend their reasons as to why they decided to give biometric technology such prominance. This is all fine and good considering it was their decision, therefore their responsibility, but they aren't the biometric experts. This is only one aspect of their job.
And this isn't just in the US either. The UK is in the same boat. ID card plans slammed by MPs
Remember that frequent flyer pilot they began a month or so ago in a few airports around the nation? (Volunteers are allowing biometric information to be captured in order to bypass extensive security checks every visit.)
A paper in Minnesota published an opinion article as to the status of the program in their airport thus far. Evidently, it's doing well there. It could be that the program is as good as hoped, or that people in Minnesota are just good at obliging things. We'll sure see as the program progresses.
So people are calling for more field-testing and research to improve on the technology before it is zapped out into the world.
Good thing the government is started to recognize that, and replying by putting more money into research funding.
Jain, who works in biometrics recognition, said the increases in federal funding for his projects are a reflection of the government's priorities. About 80 percent of Jain's work for improving methods of identification comes from federal aid.
"I think right now with the interest in homeland security, various agencies of the government are spending money," Jain said. "Such as the Army; I have received money from them."
The next issue is out from the IBIA. The articles in this issue are:
"In Response to IBIA, NIST Takes a Step Toward Recommending Effective Means of Verifying Personal Identity,"
"The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Rolls Out the First Test Pilot of the 'Registered Traveler' Program," and
"A Federal Grand Jury Indicts a Man for Fraud in Connection with a Biometric Company Held to Be Phony." IBIA Biometrics Advocacy Report.
What's going on with that whole deadline for US Visa-Waiver countries to get biometric enabled passports? Well, since you asked...
A meeting is planned next week to really sit down and figure out how realistic the goals are in relation to the technology. Testing of the hardware, software, and people's patience is in order.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will host a testing event for electronic passports featuring biometric data next week, opening a can of technological worms that will tax the ingenuity, patience and diplomacy of dozens of national governments, chip vendors and reader manufacturers.
Healthcare coming current with modern processes = another chance for biometrics to shine.
This article requires a membership. Here's some good stuff:
The Bush administration plans to announce today a long-term plan for modernizing the nation's health care system with information technology, bringing patient records and prescriptions out of the realm of ink and paper and into the computer age.
The government, according to the report, will also use its formidable buying power as the largest purchaser of health care - through federal Medicare and Medicaid programs - to accelerate the transition to electronic patient records, reversing what the report terms "a previous lack of cohesive federal policies supporting" health information technology.
The report, "The Decade of Health Information Technology," is being published today at the beginning of a government-sponsored conference in Washington. It says that the government should work closely with the private sector to ensure common product standards for storing electronic health records, so data can be shared among institutions and personal information can be kept secure. A product certification system, the report says, should be considered.