Biometrics and contactless technologies are the main ingredients of a border control system that is part of the U.S. “roadmap to peace” plan between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The consortium developing the project is headed by EDS, a U.S-based company, but also includes OTI America (OTI), responsible for the contactless smart cards and readers; Recognition Systems, Inc. (RSI) for hand geometry biometrics; and Visionics for facial recognition biometrics.
Ohad Bashan, President & CEO for OTI America, said the Basel Project “represents one of the most complex environments in the world and we are looking forward to successful implementation of such.”
According to OTI, “The Basel Project allows absolute personal identification of people during movement to and from classified locations. The system will monitor the entrance and exit of around 120,000 daily workers (when fully operational) to the Israeli territories while assuring a completely secure, exceptionally fast border crossing.”
Key to the system is the contactless card developed by OTI , RSI, and Visionics. According to OTI, this border-crossing system authenticates an individual’s identity “by incorporating the use of state-of-the-art, contactless microprocessor-based smart cards and biometrics technologies to allow authorized, secure border passage through an integrated ID gate system.”
A person electing to cross into Israel the first time will be required to obtain a card that will include his or her biometrics, both hand and facial, along with photos and personal information. The system instantly issues a nationally approved contactless access card complete with photograph and personal data stored on an 8K chip.
This contactless system allows border security personnel to compare the hand and facial identification data already collected with the person flashing the card in just four to nine seconds.
The person waves a smart ID card near a reader, and places his or her hand on the palm sensor. At the same time, a video camera records an image of the person’s face, which is then analyzed by a computer comparing ID data from the card with the person’s facial and palm characteristics stored in the database. If everything matches properly, an automatic gate opens. Otherwise, the person is directed to a different gate for additional processing.
The technology, according to OTI, has been embraced by the Israeli Ministry of Defense, considered to be one of the most security focused organizations in the world.