Airports Adopt High-Tech Approaches To Security

Compiled By Michael A. Verespej Continents apart, new high-tech methods of detecting unauthorized individuals at airports are emerging. Later this fall, Chicago's O'Hare International and Midway airports will deploy fingerprint-verification technology to make sure that only authorized employees have access to restricted airport areas such as jet ramps, baggage handling, and other secure rooms. Smart-card finger-verification readers developed by SecuGen Corp., Milpitas, Calif., will be installed on the approximately 1,100 doors at the two airports with access to those areas. In June, Keflavik International Airport in Iceland began using computer software that works with security cameras to quickly scan thousands of passengers as they make their way to boarding gates. The FaceIt system, designed by Visionics Corp., Jersey City, N.J., and Minnetonka, Minn., compares 80 facial characteristics of an individual's 'faceprint' to a database of suspected criminals. If 12 of the features match, an alarm alerts airport security.

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