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Citizenship and Immigration Canada launches $3.5 million biometric pilot project

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is launching a $3.5 million biometric pilot project using fingerprint and facial recogntion at visa offices abroad and select points of entry to Canada.



July 13, 2006
By Jennifer Brown


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CIC has selected Unisys Canada Inc.,to supply and support a system
that will allow CIC to conduct the six-month biometrics field trial which will take place at two visa
offices — in Hong Kong and Seattle — as well as the Victoria International
Airport, Douglas, Pacific Highway points of entry and the Etobicoke
refugee intake centre in Ontario.

"It
was decided those were the places that could best utilize the trial,"
said Sheila Watson, manager of media relations for CIC in Ottawa.

The trial is limited to student and temporary worker applicants and refugee claimants.

The
trial will test the impact of introducing two biometric technologies —
fingerprint and facial recognition — on CIC operations. The estimated
cost of the trial — $3.5 million — includes cost of design, delivery
and evaluation.

Approximately
17,000 fingerprints and facial images will be collected from field
trial participants. Analysis of the information collected will be
conducted separately.

"CIC
works constantly with our colleagues at Canadian Border Services Agency
and Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada, so this is
on-going work the departments are involved in," Watson said.

ImageWare, a subcontractor to Unisys on
the project, a developer of identity
management solutions, is providing its IWS Biometric Engine Border
Management Solution, a web-based,  multi-biometric ID management
system. The product supports land, air and sea
ports and utilizes biometrics including face, fingerprint and iris —
during enrollment and  identification processing.

Also
included is IWS proprietary software that permits the use of
third-party biometric algorithms and third-party biometric scanners 
and RFID reader/writers.  Verification points for the field trial will use IWS’ web-based
application to identify participating travellers with visas and will be installed on Unisys ES3120 enterprise server that will be housed in a secure government facility. 


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