Introduction of e-passports enhanced with biometrics is intended to ensure the safety of passport holders and the security of confidential data stored in a passport against fraudulent use, including the use of lost or stolen passports. E-passports meet the globally accepted standards for machine-readable documents, such as the recommendations established by the ICAO, of which the Bahamas is a member.
In an effort to combat crimes and terrorism by keeping track of visitors, the Bahamian Department of Immigration and Ministry of Foreign Affairs are charged with preventing illegal border crossing and trafficking by means of e-passports. An e-passport is an identity document using biometrics to authenticate the citizenship of travelers. It contains an embedded contactless chip, holding electronic data of the passport holder, to ensure the integrity of personal data, including the holder’s biometric credentials.
Bahamian passports are enhanced with biometric features, including fingerprint biometrics delivered by BioLink. To cross a border, a person’s fingerprint is scanned and compared against the digital fingerprint template contained in the silicon chip memory. The identification procedure is fast and effortless allowing for an accelerated flow of passengers and checks by the border authorities.
For Bahamian e-passports, BioLink supplied its biometric development kit, designed to add security to applications requiring strong identification. The kit is mostly advantageous for supporting the key global security standards, such as ICAO, ISO/IEC, ANSI/NIST, ANSI/INCITS, WSQ and BioAPI thus ensuring an interoperable data exchange with other systems.
For this particular project, BioLink also ensured compatibility of its fingerprint matching algorithm in the ANSI/NIST format with the ST4e hand-held device delivered by IRIS Corporation Berhad, a pioneer in e-passports and national multipurpose cards and BioLink’s partner in the Bahamian project.
Piotr Pertsov, Director of Business Development in BioLink, says: “Biometric technology has so advanced in the past few years that incorporation of biometrics into passports is no longer considered a ‘mission impossible’. E-passports come into the forefront due to multiple forgeries and duplicity in the national security domain. BioLink’s progress in delivering relevant security solutions is achieved mostly through our advanced proprietary algorithms and software, as well as highly skilled managers and engineers, able to fulfill any customer requirements in a fast and proper fashion. The Bahamian passports are another example of BioLink’s extensive experience and expertise in civil identification projects”.
BioLink, a leading provider of biometric identification solutions, develops, manufactures, and markets advanced fingerprint biometric products. The Company’s products and services form the core of biometric identification and authentication solutions for all scales of civil identification, access control and information security applications. BioLink’s solutions ensure optimal total cost of ownership in the industry and are implemented by corporate and government entities worldwide. For additional information, please visit BioLink’s web site.
IRIS Corporation Berhad is a global security solution provider with core expertise in securing government security documents i.e. National ID and Passport. IRIS pioneered the world’s first electronic passport and national multi-application smart card with the implementation of the Malaysian Electronic Passport in March 1998 and MyKAD - the Malaysian Government Multi Purpose Card in April 2001. These technologies are deployed in many countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. IRIS also provides a full range of smart card readers, integrated terminals, card personalization equipment and biometric scanners to complement the application of its smart card solutions.