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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Canada prepares to introduce biometric scanning for immigrants

The Canadian government will soon require immigrants to undergo biometric scanning in order to enter the country in order to improve border security. This technology has been used for years by other Western countries to reduce the instances of immigration fraud.

At the present, Canadian border officials use photo identification to determine if the person before them is the same as listed on the passport, a process that can be subjective. To remove the subjectivity, biometrics would use digitial measurements of a person’s fingerprints, face, and retinas which will be stored on computer chips and machine-readable strips.

The Canadian government has decided to use fingerprint technology rather than facial recognition software, investing approximately $200 million on the program. $3.5 million was invested on a biometrics field trial at Canadian offices in Hong Kong, Seattle, and Etobicoke. During the trial, over 14,000 visa applicants provided fingerprints and photos and verification was accurate in 96 per cent of cases.
Canada will not be able to introduce biometrics in every Canadian overseas office and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials are trying to determine which countries will be first to have this technology introduced. While there have been rumours of Canada implementing the first phase of the project in India, Citizenship and Immigration Canada have stated that no decision has been made yet.
[Source]
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