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Airports Interested in Face Recognition Security

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, October 24, 2001

The technology scramble to fight terrorists continues. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The push is on to put technology to use to increase security at airports, corporate headquarters and a wide variety of public areas. At Visionics, a company that is a leader in face recognition and fingerprint identification technology, CEO Joseph Atick tells us...

"We are seeing nothing short of a paradigm shift. This is a dramatic change in the world's acceptance of this type of technology and also highlighting the weaknesses in the security infrastructure."

Visionics has seen its stock soar... .since September 11th and its 230 employees are trying to keep up with the demand for the company's services... .

"We are in dialogue with more than a dozen airports right now. As you know, projects of this size require careful planning and assessment on the impact of the operations of the airport. One of the key advantages of face recognition is that you can implement it without impeding the traffic and the flow of the honest majority."

And even though in the wake of the terrorist attacks at least one poll shows widespread public acceptance of the technology... .Atick says, guidelines are still needed to ensure that it is not misused. Pictures of individuals whose faces do not match up with those in criminal databases... should not be retained. But... properly used, he maintains, it can make a difference in stopping terrorism...

"There is no reason why these people should be freely boarding planes and entering countries."

Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.