Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security secretary, said Thursday that he sees biometrics as the way of the future for identification when traveling. The current method is too flawed relying on simple names which are subject to misspellings, misidentification and fraud. The key to biometrics is ensuring that the system is secure. If a hacker can change the information attached to his biometric personality on record then the system is worthless as it would identify him certainly, but display fraudulent information. I'm sure the civil liberties crowd will decry this of course. How dare the governments want to ensure that they know who you are and your intentions.
International travelers should get used to having their fingerprints taken or their irises scanned because traditional airport security tests are outdated and open to abuse, a leading U.S. official said Thursday.
"As a general principle, certainly in the area of international travel, biometrics is the way forward in virtually every respect," said Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security secretary.
"When we screen based on names, we're screening on the most primitive and least technological basis of identification -- it's the most susceptible to misspelling, or people changing their identity, or fraud.
"Biometrics is the way ahead."
Chertoff was speaking to reporters after meeting British officials during a four-day visit to Europe to discuss trans-Atlantic security cooperation.
On Monday, he visited the Netherlands, which will pilot a program later this year to allow passengers flying between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Amsterdam's Schiphol airport to pass through border controls using a biometric card.
If they can produce the card, travelers will not be subjected to further questioning or screening.
The scheme is the first of its kind to be launched between the United States and a European country and, if it works, could be adopted elsewhere.
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