If your international air travel experience has gotten easier, you may have Sherry Stein, SITA America’s Head of Technology Strategy, to thank.
“In 2016, we began working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and JetBlue in particular around how to help implement biometric exit in a way that would become something that would be acceptable by the airlines and airports — that didn’t create a burdensome process for the industry and that helped CBP in its mission,” Stein says. “That’s when we worked together to come up with this single token travel process that we call the ‘one step process.’”
That’s where passengers board a plane using nothing but their face. They step up to the camera, the pictures goes to CBP for a biometric exit check, and CBP confirms with the airline that the passenger is eligible to board. “The passenger doesn’t have to show a boarding pass or any documentation,” Stein says. “That’s really changed the game. It’s now become the de facto standard for the industry.”
That’s one of the reasons Sherry Stein, SITA’s Head of Technology Strategy for the Americas, was chosen as a 2019 Women in Biometrics Award winner.
The proudest accomplishment is the work that we’ve done to help foster collaboration across all of the travel industry stakeholders, so that we can find ways to share information that helps each of them accomplish their mission without compromising any of the security
“We were able to create this integrated process. Travelers love it,” Stein says. “It’s two-second processing time, 30 percent reduction in boarding times, and it helps CBP create a biometric exit program that’s viable for the airlines and the airports to implement because it creates value for them without creating a burden in trying to meet the exit obligations.”
Stein’s proudest accomplishment:
“The work that we’ve done with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. There’s not been a lot of collaboration, and so that’s why the airline checks your boarding pass. The TSA then checks your boarding pass and I.D. — you board the plane, they check it again. Each piece of that journey operates independent of the other. I think the proudest accomplishment is the work that we’ve done to help foster that collaboration across all of the stakeholders, so that we can find ways to share information that helps each of them accomplish their mission without compromising any of the security or data privacy or data sharing concerns.”
Stein spends most of her time working to solve security challenges in the travel industry, having seen the value that biometric technology can bring to the table.
The Women in Biometrics Awards, co-founded by the Security Industry Association (SIA) and SecureIDNews, will recognize four winners at the 2019 SIA GovSummit, June 26-27 in Washington, D.C.