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to individuals regardless of his/her standing height or position in a vehicle. If a person has difficulty
presenting a biometric sample to the sensor, they may be inconvenienced with excessive false rejections.
Also, it is often helpful to reach out to other airports to see what they have chosen and what the reaction of
the user population has been. The TSA study report referenced in Section 3.1.6 provides information about
the experience of other airport and non-airport implementers of biometrics for access control and can be
very instructive in terms of biometric usability lessons learned.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has conducted research into biometric usability
and has published a handbook entitled Usability and Biometrics. [Refer: Appendix A: References].
Anti-spoofing and Liveness Detection
New technology enhancements have been added to some biometric systems that can detect that the
presented biometric sample is coming from a living person and not a fake biometric. This liveness detection
capability can be an effective countermeasure against “spoofing” attacks mounted against the biometric
device. Liveness detection features may not be required by every airport, but should be considered at
locations where there is no guard or video monitoring of an entry point. Examples of this type of attack
could include use of fake fingers made of various materials like rubber, silicone, or plastic; use of
photographs of an iris or face; or other methods to fool the sensor into thinking that the sample is coming
from a living human. The ability of a sensor to detect “liveness” is a desirable feature and vendors are
incorporating such features into a number of commercial biometric products today. For example, some
fingerprint sensors now measure the frequency of dielectric current found in living human skin. Other
fingerprint sensors measure the spectral response of living tissue beneath the skin through multi-spectral
optical or ultrasound techniques.
Biometric enrollment is the process of establishing a reference biometric sample that will be stored and
subsequently used for future comparison to a presented biometric sample.
Enrollment quality is an important aspect of biometric verification. A high quality enrollment will generally
result in reduced false rejections and increased overall system matching performance. Every effort should
be made to ensure the highest possible biometric enrollment quality.
Enrollment staff should be trained on the best way to use the biometric capture devices to ensure high
enrollment quality. The throughput rate at entry points will also be enhanced by eliminating or reducing
false rejects by achieving a high quality biometric enrollment. Procedures should also be implemented to
test each biometric enrollment before the user leaves the enrollment station to ensure that the user can be
matched successfully and that he / she is familiar with the procedure to present a bio metric sample to the
For those workers who cannot present a useful biometric sample, the airport operator must have an
alternative procedure for them to use in order to gain entry into non-public areas protected by the PACS.
One alternative is to substitute a PIN for the biometric match in conjunction with a valid badge. Another
consideration is to choose a biometric modality that is more universal in the worker population. For example,
some percentage of the population will not have fingerprints of sufficient ridge pattern definition to enroll
in some commercial fingerprint readers. Some airport operators may consider use of multiple biometrics to
give the worker the option of using one biometric modality or the other as long as either modality is robust
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