Senate subcommittee briefed on biometrics

SSN Staff  - 
Tuesday, January 1, 2002

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Representatives from across the biometrics industry briefed a segment of the U.S. Senate in November about technologies that could shape the face of national security in the coming months and years.

Appearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism, and Government Information were CEOs from Visionics Corp. and Lau Technologies, which is the parent company of Viisage Technology Inc. Also on the panel were executives from Identix Inc., Iridian Technologies Inc., and Recognition Systems Inc.

The hearing comes on the heels of announcements that several major airports plan to increase their use of biometric technologies to bolster their security systems.

Visionics Corp. disclosed before the hearing that its chief executive officer, Dr. Joseph Atick, had been invited to take part in the event by California Senator Dianne Feinstein and noted that he would be speaking about applying the company's technology in an airport setting. Representatives from Viisage Technology said before the hearing that their company's founder, Joanna Lau, planned to extend the talk to applications of biometric technology to the port of entry screening and visa authorization processes as well as covering airport security.

Titled "Biometric Identifiers and the Modern Face of Terror: New Technologies in the Global War on Terrorism," the hearing also featured a panel of law enforcement and regulatory agency officials that included Michael Kirkpatrick, assistant director, Criminal Justice Information Systems Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Monte Belger, acting deputy administrator at the Federal Aviation Administration.