Before Your Flight: A Fingerprint Scan at the Check-in Desk

Sep 30, 2005

Lufthansa has teamed up with Siemens to successfully test a biometric process for check-in and boarding at Frankfurt Airport. The tests proved the feasibility of identifying airline passengers from their fingerprints. The testing was conducted with 400 Lufthansa employees and examined technical functions, efficiency and acceptance. Processing times and security benefits were also analyzed. The technology passed the tests with flying colors, and the system is now ready to be launched on the market.

After a passenger’s finger is rolled over an optical reader unit, the system from Siemens Business Services converts the fingerprints’ distinguishing characteristics into a two-dimensional code made up of dots, which the reader unit prints on the boarding pass. This makes the magnetic strip cards used today obsolete and boosts security. When it comes time to board, the fingerprints are again scanned by a reader unit and compared with the barcode. To ease any concerns about protecting personal information, the data is erased after the passenger checks in. What’s more, the technology doesn’t save a complete fingerprint but only certain characteristics of the print.

This also serves to foil hackers who try to gain access to the system, because a complete fingerprint can’t be reconstructed from the data. And Siemens is also developing effective methods for dealing with fake fingers — artificial, wearable copies of other people’s fingers that can be worn by someone trying to avoid fingerprint identification. Fingerprints will be stored in the next generation of passports issued by European Union countries, and biometric solutions are expected to play an important role in improving travel security in the future.

Source: Siemens

Explore further: Impoverished North Korea falls back on cyber weapons

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Biometric Passport Control: No Place To Hide

Sep 25, 2007

Siemens is making border crossings in Europe more secure through biometric systems that store individual characteristics such as fingerprints and facial photos on a chip integrated into a passport.

U.K. biometric ID card faces questions

Mar 30, 2006

The introduction of biometric national identification cards to the United Kingdom now seems like an inevitability. Yet doubts have been raised by a committee in the House of Commons itself about whether existing technology ...

Recommended for you

Impoverished North Korea falls back on cyber weapons

4 hours ago

As one of the world's most impoverished powers, North Korea would struggle to match America's military or economic might, but appears to have settled on a relatively cheap method to torment its foe.

Five ways to make your email safer in case of a hack attack

5 hours ago

The Sony hack, the latest in a wave of company security breaches, exposed months of employee emails. Other hacks have given attackers access to sensitive information about a company and its customers, such as credit-card ...

2012 movie massacre hung over 'Interview' decision

5 hours ago

When a group claiming credit for the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment threated violence against theaters showing "The Interview" earlier this week, the fate of the movie's big-screen life was all but ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.