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SIA calls for stronger airport credentials

Speaking to Congress as a representative of the Security Industry Association (SIA), Kathleen Carroll, vice-president, government affairs, HID Global Corp., recently made recommendations to strengthen security credentials at U.S. airports.


February 8, 2016
By Canadian Security

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Kathleen Carroll explored recommendations for biometrics adoption and federated model for security credentials at a recent congressional hearing.

Carroll specifically explored several ways to improve security credentials endorsed by the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, a body of private and public sector representatives providing counsel to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
She gave testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation and Public Assets.

Carroll, who serves as chair of SIA’s Government Relations Committee, called for wider adoption of biometric confirmation of identity for badge issuance and random auditing capture of a biometric template for security identification display area badge (SIDA) applicants.

“Biometrics are already in use at several airports, including BWI and SFO,” Ms. Carroll said in her prepared testimony. “These biometric deployments enhance security by tying the SIDA badge to the holder of the badge. Further, biometric technology has improved substantially in recent years and industry continues to invest in further advancements.”

A key measure to ensure appropriate use of biometrics would be “liveness detection,” which eliminates spoofing, Carroll said. Liveness detection helps to verify identity through reading an individual’s physiological signs of life.

“For example, liveness detection solves the worry around the biometrics that were stolen in the OPM [Office of Personnel Management] breach. Biometrics information is worthless if it isn’t usable. With liveness detection, the only way it is usable is if the living human being presents their biometrics.”

Carroll also called for airport worker credentials to follow a federated model.

“Many airport employees work at multiple airports and often need to go through the vetting process and carry a badge for each airport. In a federated model, such as the U.S. government’s Personal Identity Verification (PIV) program, each federal employee is vetted to an acceptable and known process across all federal agencies.”

Multiple credentialing often requires employees to carry a variety of documents with them and thereby increases security risks through exposing sensitive information, she added.