TSA releases guidance on biometrics for access control

The Transportation Security Administration has issued a guidance document on the basic criteria and standards the agency believes biometric technology should meet in order to qualify for airport access control systems.

Congress mandated in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act that TSA consult with representatives of the aviation and biometrics industries, as well as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to develop the guidance package.

The document is intended for two main audiences: airport operators, who own and operate the access control systems at their airports, and manufacturers of biometrics devices, whose products will be evaluated for inclusion on a Qualified Products List.

The agency noted that not satisfying the criteria and standards will not automatically exclude a biometrics device from the QPL, 'if its performance will be comparable to devices that meet' the guidance.

Similarly, meeting the criteria and standards does not guarantee a place on the QPL if TSA determines a product 'may exhibit features that ' make it ineligible.'

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