Iris-based border control system

May 2003 Access Control & Identity Management

The General Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police in the United Arab Emirates and Iridian Technologies have announced the official launch of the world's first National Iris Recognition-based Expellees Tracking and Border Control System.

The project, which started in August 2001, involves the enrollment of inmates and expellees' irises from geographically distributed prisons and deportation centres throughout the UAE into a central Iris database at the General Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police. It also embraces a realtime, one to all, iris-check of all arriving passengers at any UAE border point that will reveal if the person had been expelled from the country.

"The level of accuracy required by the UAE led them to select iris recognition technology," said Alasdair Yuill, managing director of local Iridian Technologies distributor, Mantis Networks, "and because this accuracy is coupled with fast enrollment and authentication, it is possible to offer the client a viable and robust solution."

The system provides realtime and reliable screening of all incoming travellers at the country's border points. It advises the border guards if a person has been previously imprisoned or expelled from the UAE, regardless of the travel documents they may be carrying.

The system has been rolled-out nationally in all six international airports, over 15 prisons and deportation centres, and all 10 sea and land border points in the UAE. The Central Iris Database of all expellees has been operational since October 2002 with over 100 000 travellers checked and dozens of persons have already been caught at all entry points.

"The system is highly effective in that the possibility of a 'false negative', ie, failing to recognise an expellee, is negligible. Its speed, accuracy and ease of use enables deployment without difficulties," comments Jo Yuill, marketing director at Mantis Networks.

"The realtime search through very large databases to find any matching iris is exactly the kind of operation that iris recognition is designed for," she stated, "and is precisely the type of application that would benefit the continent of Africa."

For more information contact Jo Yuill, Mantis Networks, 011 326 4727,

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