Increasing concerns about terrorism and mass migration are helping to drive government adoption of biometric border screening, reports Acuity Market Intelligence.
The market research firm says that there are currently about 690 million biometric ePassports and 390 million biometric visas in circulation around the world; meanwhile over two billion biometric national IDs are also in use, with India’s Aadhaar program likely comprising the bulk of that, given that it recently passed the billion-enrollments mark. As for the technology for border screening itself, there are currently 1760 biometric eGates deployed across 51 countries, with 1247 automated passport processing kiosks at 45 locations in Europe, the Middle East, and North America.
Commenting on the trends in a statement, Acuity Market Intelligence Principal Maxine Most pointed to the recent Brexit referendum and US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s promises to build a wall at the Mexican border and ban Muslims from immigrating to the US as reflecting some of the anxieties driving the push for biometric border control. “Regardless of their validity, these responses reveal global concerns about the ability of countries to identify and control who is crossing their borders,” Most explained.
Meanwhile, European authorities are already turning to ambitious biometric border solutions to help manage the ongoing refugee and migration crisis; and in the US, the CBP is exploring biometric border screening as a pragmatic solution to security concerns. As Most puts it, national security authorities are in a “rush to embrace biometrics,” and as such, “Acuity expects worldwide automated border control market growth to accelerate rapidly over the next decade.”
July 25, 2016 – by Alex Perala