A recent report from Accenture has shown that the majority of citizens surveyed in six countries – Australia, France, Germany, the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom – are willing to share their biometric data when travelling across international borders. Eighty-nine percent of the 3,000 respondents support biometric border control.
The statistic is made especially supportive considering that 69 percent of the surveyed citizens have never shared their biometric information before.
Accenture’s Mark Crego who leads the company’s global border and identity services business explains: “The survey findings show strong support from citizens for the greater use of biometrics to secure national borders, enable more convenient travel and facilitate faster processing through customs and border control. The majority of citizens are willing to share biometric details to help increase border security and, at the same time, reap benefits such as faster processing times at borders and more convenient travel.”
Broken down by region, citizens of the UK are most supportive of biometrics as a means of improving border security while France has the highest eGate and kiosk existing user rate. Germany, meanwhile has the largest fraction of respondents that say they have already shared biometric details with third parties.
“The strong support by citizens for technologies that can improve travel and secure borders demonstrates how important it is for border management agencies to continue adopting new tools that meet the demands of citizens and better manage the transit of people across borders,” says Crego. “Increasing the use of biometrics and introducing registered traveler programs can make traveling faster, safer and more convenient and strengthen both border and national security through improved intelligence gathering.”
An increase in citizen support is, of course, a necessary part of the equation when it comes to the growing automated border control market. All month we have been seeing an increase in border control contracts and deployments. Just last week, the growing demand for identity management services associated with biometric border control solutions were cited as a job creating factor in the opening of a new MorphoTrust (Safran) biometric enrollment facility in Springfield, Illinois.
June 25, 2014 – by Peter B. Counter