U.S. Trucker IDs May Go Dutch

TSA may use biometric ID system for truckers

A biometric system used to automatically verify the identity of truckers entering and exiting the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands may be one of the base components in a similar system being developed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for U.S. transportation workers.

The Port of Rotterdam uses a hand held device – called “HandReaders” – developed by Campbell, CA-based Recognition Systems (RS) within a security control matrix built by Ingersoll-Rand, to identify truckers entering and exiting its facilities via a hand print and an ID card containing a “smart chip.”

The company said its HandReaders automatically take a three-dimensional reading of the size and shape of a hand and verify the user's identity in less than one second. The “CargoCard,” developed by Netherlands-based Secure-Logistics, looks like a normal credit card, but the chip in the card is a minicomputer that stores a three-dimensional template of the left hand of the cardholder, said Bill Spence, RS’s director of marketing.

At the entrance, the driver identifies himself by using the CargoCard together with a HandReader. Pre-scanned information of his left hand is compared with the template information on the CargoCard before entering is allowed. The process is repeated upon leaving.

The benefits of the system are that the information cannot be manipulated or changed and that the driver does not have to remember specific information such as a PIN code. Also, the CargoCard cannot be transferred to other people and it reduces mistakes resulting from typing in incorrect ID numbers, Spence said.

Spence said the combined process is being studied by TSA for its proposed Transportation Worker Identity Program (TWIP), which could ultimately involve six million workers at U.S. seaports, airports, railways and other transportation facilities.

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