Yang Cai of the CyLab research laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University is among some that are working to improve existing technologies and create new technologies that would better secure airports, according to a Post Gazette article.
Some of the research involves attending to full-body scanners that have been notorious for revealing a travelers naked body while much of the other research involves various biometric technology determined to better identify who the traveler is beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Among some of the first issues the researchers are encountering is dealing with the social issues surrounding concerns over privacy breaches biometric technology could be guilty of. As far as the full body scanner, Cai is working towards a solution that would not show the body at all, but merely the foreign objects the person is holding. However, his current solution utilizes scans of head size to determine dimensions of the human body and, subsequently, what areas should be censored fro the traveler’s privacy.
Some of the top biometric projects CyLab is working on involve pushing iris authenticating technology to be able to identify people that are not cooperative or trying to give a sample. Marios Savvides is hopeful such technology could be sued to identify known or suspected terrorists and criminals with ease soon. However, Savvides looks at such scanners as a last line of defenses, which is why he is also working on multiple long-range identification solutions in hopes that eventually they too could utilize iris biometrics for authentication.
Other projects in the CyLab include face-mapping technology that they are working on fro the FBI. The hope for this technology, however, isn’t so much to identify the person as much as it is to identify the emotions of the person. Such technology would be utilized to identify those exhibiting emotional traits similar to those about to commit crimes, however, the technology is still easily tripped by basic facial traits such as facial hair and eyeglasses.
While privacy is still a major issue surrounding such technology, both Savvides and Cai admit that some concessions will likely need to be made in the name of intelligence and safety. Savvides, specifically, points towards the casino industry wondering how much security they deem necessary for security and the extreme drop-off to airport security. Despite this, privacy advocates continue to worry, and CyLab continues to make its best efforts at creating acceptable and effective technology.
Read the full story here.