Dignari reports on developments in government and industry identity and biometrics

Dignari, member of Technology and Government Services Coalitiona non-profit organization for government contractors in the homeland security market, recently participated in Identity Week America 2022 and reported on some of the sessions:

Innovative identity management solutions

David Pekoske, Administrator, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), opened this session with an insightful discussion, addressing the ever-evolving threats to the transportation system, with the environment we find ourselves in today being radically different from what it was only five years ago. from.

From advancements in 1:1 and 1:n facial biometric matching to efforts to streamline and improve the overall identity screening process, the TSA has focused on improving efficiency and effectiveness of passenger security and privacy. As Administrator Pekoske noted, however, these advances require focusing on being as transparent as possible with the public about how their information is being used and what safeguards are in place to protect sensitive data.

We also learned how the TSA sees itself as an innovator in identity management solutions, including plans to develop and promote an “Innovation Doctrine” with a mission to foster an environment of innovation and innovation. get feedback from passengers and stakeholders. Among these efforts is the goal of implementing “one-stop security” to provide inbound US travelers with a streamlined screening process prior to arrival. While universal adoption of such a system is still years away, the TSA has asked congressional authority to initiate a pilot program for this technology.

Remote Identity Validation

Presented by Arun Vemury, Director of the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Branch (DHS S&T), and Jonathan Prisby, Deputy Director, this session focused on how the DHS Biometric & Identity Technology Center (BI -TC) leverages management’s expertise and capabilities in facial biometrics and identity management.

Arun and Jonathan explained how the BI-TC does not focus on facilitating the adoption of new technologies, but rather seeks to advise agencies on how biometric and identity management technologies work, where they can be used, best practices for their use and to help internal and external stakeholders make better-informed decisions.

They also discussed BI-TC’s efforts to support its mission through “non-adversarial engagement” with industry partners – encouraging companies to submit new algorithms and other technical advances for testing, agency providing anonymous analysis and reports to guide the industry. moving forward without penalizing companies that try new approaches to achieve common end goals. In short, their goal is to help the industry identify areas that are performing well while encouraging them to take it to the next level. At the same time, they are also looking to better engage with academia to get them to address existing gaps in systems and come up with viable solutions to address them.

Identity is everything

One of the most intriguing sessions focused on the rapidly changing landscape of decentralized identity. Presented by Heather Dahl, CEO of Indicio, attendees got an overview of this open standards-based framework that uses digital IDs and verifiable credentials that belong to them and enable trusted data exchange.

These digital identifiers can include nearly any data point valued or associated with an individual, including school and medical records, employment history, banking information, life events, and family relationships. A key differentiator with the Decentralized Identity Framework is that the end user controls access to their data, giving individuals the power to determine what data to share and with whom.

By combining biographical and demographic data and transferring control of that data to the individual end user, the decentralized identity framework delivers six key benefits: privacy, transparency, control, efficiency, reduced risk, and increased speed. This linking of multiple trusted data points builds trust in all data used, making verifiable credentials even stronger when deployed in a trusted digital ecosystem. With such a system, we can positively identify – and repeatedly verify – any given data point using the “inherent trust and immutability of the blockchain ledger”.

Biometrics in the Travel Industry and the Impacts of Potential Legislation

In this panel discussion featuring Mark Van de Water of Baker Donelson and Tony Lo Brutto and Amol Deshmukh of Thales, participants learned about the challenges faced by biometric and emerging technology companies regarding the regulatory and legislative process, which is inherently and laboriously slow.

Although more than 100 bills have been introduced in the current 117th Congress alone, they noted, none of those bills gained traction or made it to a vote. Despite the lack of movement, most bills have similar common denominators: transparency, protection of PII, development of a privacy-conscious regulatory framework, and accountability/sustainability.

Another key point from the panel was that now is the time for the federal government to provide overarching safeguards to create a consistent model for the industry. They argued that action must be taken now because a federal preemption is needed to counter the “mix of state legislative actions” that puts companies in precarious positions.

The panel also discussed the need for the travel industry to focus on building trust when it comes to leveraging biometric technology to improve the overall passenger experience and maintaining that trust. . Suppose the public loses trust in a single platform, program or technology. In this case, it can have a huge ripple effect, leading to distrust of similar products or platforms from completely different brands and/or vendors.

Innovation at the borders

During Day 2’s keynote session from Diane Sabatino, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), attendees learned about CBP’s efforts to leverage facial biometrics and mobile technology through expanded relationships with industry partners. Through these efforts, CBP has been actively committed to expanding its seamless travel experience and using facial biometrics for domestic and international passenger exits.

Through increased collaboration between internal and external stakeholders, CBP has focused recent efforts on security and facilitation through Identity-as-a-Service to create a seamless “curb-to-door” traveler experience. where the use of biometrics will entirely replace the use of physical documents. . The session further highlighted CBP’s concerted efforts to improve privacy and security around biometrics, noting the importance of addressing privacy issues transparently to build public trust and greater adoption of biometrics. technology.

DEAC Sabatino also discussed expanding next-generation Global Entry kiosks that will be able to process travelers in approximately 3.5 seconds, significantly improving process efficiency while simultaneously providing CBP officers with a increased ability to focus their efforts on the traveling application and other activities. She also discussed CBP’s efforts to provide field officers with the tools and resources necessary to do their jobs effectively and explore functional solutions to the use of non-intrusive inspection biometrics in car-only lanes at checkpoints. land borders.

Digital identity at the border

Another key Identity Week session featured Matthew Davies, Executive Director – Admissibility and Passenger Programs, CBP’s Office of Field Operations, as well as representatives from Carnival Cruise Lines, Vision-Box and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), who focused on the use of facial biometrics in the marine environment.

Executive Director Davies explained how CBP is working to implement an Advanced Passenger Exchange Program that would establish data-sharing agreements to ensure systems interoperability across travel modes, transport partners industry and international agency counterparts. As part of these efforts, CBP and stakeholders are working with the World Customs Organization to establish international standards by examining disparate customs procedures in different countries and finding commonalities. The goal is to develop an integrated system that combines passenger data and information that can cross traveler manifests from one mode to another.

Donald Brown, Vice President of Marine Policy for CLIA, also highlighted the indirect benefits of facial biometrics on embarkation/disembarkation processes, noting how the technology helps reduce physical contact while increasing efficiency. of the process and the ability of CBP officers to focus on homelessness. enforcement efforts, which proves to be a win-win for passengers, CBP and the cruise lines operating the terminals.

This article originally appeared on Dignari

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