One million and counting

February 2004 Access Control & Identity Management

In the largest deployment of iris recognition to date, the United Arab Emirates requires iris-recognition tests on all passengers entering the UAE. Each passenger is compared with a watch list of 293 406 foreign nationals expelled for various reasons. After over 1 million searches, 3684 matches have been found, none has been disputed and all have been confirmed by other records.

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.

"The system is highly effective in that the possibility of a 'false negative' (ie failing to recognise an expellee) is negligible," says Alasdair Yuill, managing director at eyedentity, a local iris recognition software development company. "Its speed, accuracy and ease of use enables deployment without difficulties. It offers a unique solution to the problem of expellees returning under different travel documents."

Today, many airports, including Schiphol, Toronto and JFK, deploy arm's-length iris cameras to replace passport inspection, expedite check-in and control access to restricted areas.

For more information contact Jo Yuill, eyedentity, 011 326 4727,

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