Year in Review: Industry Insiders Show Enthusiasm for Expedited Biometric Airport Screening

The vast majority of people in the biometrics industry and adjacent areas are interested in biometric expedited border screening programs, suggest results from FindBiometrics’ Year in Review survey.

The data comes from Question Seven, which asked, “Are you part of a biometrics enabled expedited traveler screening program (ie. PreCheck, Nexus, etc.” This refers to programs in which individuals can register their biometrics and biographic data in order to move more quickly through security screening at airports. PreCheck, for example, is offered by the TSA, and allows individuals to quickly confirm their identities with a fingerprint scan; another program, CLEAR, uses both fingerprint and iris recognition.

Year in Review: Industry Insiders Show Enthusiasm for Expedited Biometric Airport Screening

These kinds of programs would naturally seem to be pretty popular with the kinds of people answering the biometrics industry’s biggest annual internal survey, and they were. Thirty-four percent of respondents said they were already enrolled in such a program, and 44 percent said that they intend to enroll themselves. Only 23 percent said that they weren’t enrolled and didn’t intend to.

That kind of popularity might be a little pronounced among the biometrics industry crowd, but it also reflects enthusiasm for these programs among the broader public. PreCheck, for example, reached the five million mark for enrolments back in 2017, and its membership currently sits at over 7 million. CLEAR says its program has been used for 24 million trips, and it continues to expand to more airports and airlines, not to mention non-airport venues such as football stadiums.

Meanwhile, government authorities – most notably US Customs and Border Protection – are using biometric technology for border screening at a growing number of airports. That could point to a future in which, ultimately, virtually everyone is taking part in a biometric screening program, whether they signed up for it or not. In the meantime, the early birds get to skip the line.

January 15, 2019 – by Alex Perala