• The Homeland Security Department is testing a new contact-free fingerprinting technology at select airports.
     The Homeland Security Department is testing a new contact-free fingerprinting technology at select airports.

DHS Tests Touch-Free Fingerprint System

August 17, 2017


The technology is designed to balance speed and security at airports.


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is working with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to evaluate new identity verification technology that can reduce the time it takes for travelers to pass through security. Proof-of-concept testing is taking place in select TSA Precheck lanes at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and Denver International Airport.

In June, the TSA began conducting a series of proof-of-concept tests for new biometric fingerprint technology with assistance from S&T’s Biometrics Technology Engine and the Apex Screening at Speed program, according to an S&T announcement.

The touch-free scanners, developed by Advanced Optical Systems Inc., allow a traveler’s fingerprints to serve as their boarding pass and identity document. Use of the technology is currently limited to TSA Precheck members, who provide their fingerprints when they enroll in the program. Once the scanner matches fingerprints to those in the TSA Precheck system, it obtains the traveler’s boarding pass information and allows them to continue to the gate.

S&T’s goal is to help TSA learn as much as possible during the testing phase so they can continue improving the security screening process.

Explore more biometric topics at AFCEA's Federal Identity Forum taking place September 12-14 in Washington, D.C.

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