eSSL Biometric Secuwatch

August 12, 2008

Leading player in Attendance, Access, CCTV, Fire Safety Solutions industry

eSSL

eSSL

Advertisements

September 23, 2007

Biometric Fingerprint Time Clocks

Buddy punching—not the violent connotation, but equally malicious and punishable under most corporate guidelines on proper employee behavior—is the practice of cheating time clocks by punching in the attendance card or swiping the ID of a co-worker in his absence.

Attendance monitoring used to mean endless paperwork, sifting though documents and manual computation. That has changed with the onslaught of biometric fingerprint time clocks that have high-tech applications but simple implementation.

There are several brands in the market, and they offer basically the same features, although some may be a bit more sophisticated (they allow several program schemes adaptable per employee specifications). A device can be programmed to quickly identify special work-schedule arrangements made for certain employees, for example.

A biometric fingerprint time clock generally is composed of three major components that make it work: scanner (on which one places a finger for the print to be scanned); software (that transforms the scanned information into digital format); and database (where authorized fingerprints are stored in digital format).

Biometric fingerprint time clocks may be installed on each side of a door to facilitate close monitoring of employee ins and outs. The biometric clock is wired into the door latch, allowing it to mechanically open and shut it. But if it’s just attendance monitoring you desire, one unit for your whole office may suffice. A device is capable of storing large amounts of data.

Once installed, you will have to get each employee to register a fingerprint. You may need to have your IT (information technology) employees help you with this. They will create a master list of names and their corresponding fingerprints. Additional programming is needed for flexi-time employees who do not subscribe to the general work-schedule hours.

After completing the database, the device ready. Employees will only need to put a finger on the scanning interface of the time clock. The print will be processed, and if it matches an image stored in the database, the door will open mechanically. If not, access will be denied; there’s no prying open the door or getting around the system.

eSSL

September 15, 2007

UK to outsource biometric visa checks to Mumbai

The UK is to outsource visa application checks “wherever there is an outsource partner”, following trials in its largest visa posts in Mumbai, Delhi and Islamabad. This process, which will be implemented alongside the introduction of biometrics for all visa applications, is intended to cover at least 60 per cent of an annual total of 2.5 million applications by 2008, saving £3.7 million via a reduction of “46 staff years per year”.

The cunning outsourcing plan by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, which handles overseas visa applications, will be implemented as the UK Passport Office tightens security via the introduction of biometrics and by requiring new (and subsequently all) passport applicants attend a personal interview. Which could, one speculates, result in a country it was a hell of a lot easier to get into than out of, but the outsourcing partners will, we feel sure, be thoroughly vetted.

The process, the FCO tells us, “cost just £35,000 to develop” (did they outsource this too?) and allows UK visa staff to advise the outsourcing partner what information is needed. The partner then collects this from the application, puts it into electronic format and passes it on to the British Mission. As biometrics are rolled out, outsourcing partners are likely to deal with this too. “From our experience of fingerprinting in a variety of posts in East Africa,” says the FCO, “we have learned that we can safely scan fingerprints within our outsourced operations.”

The decision to fingerprint all visa applicants was taken after “the success of the Colombo fingerprinting trial in 2003”, which as we noted at the time was so ‘successful that it caught a maximum of xxx fraudsters. In common with other UK Government departments, the FCO claims that the UK “is committed by EU regulations to introducing biometrics into the worldwide visa operation” – as far as the FCO is concerned this is sort of, nearly true, but not quite, and the FCO’s current visa plans are rather different from what it will have to do if it ever really is “committed by EU regulations”.

The EU’s visa plans aren’t directly connected to its biometric passports ones, nor do they directly connect to the FCO ones. European ministers intended to have a blueprint for the introduction of biometric visas in place by the end of last year, but the discovery that the plans didn’t work put things up in the air. Ministers still intend to go ahead with biometric visas, and a trial of a separate visa card is commencing, but as far as we’re aware the European Parliament hasn’t yet been blackmailed into rubber-stamping a firmed-up scheme.

That however is neither here nor there as far as what the FCO is doing is concerned. The European system is intended to be part of the Schengen II/Visa Information System database network, with the biometric visa itself available for checking via standard border control equipment on entry to the EU. The FCO system fingerprints visa applicants in order to give the UK the capability to check for duplicate applications. The EU system means the subject of the visa carries their biometric data with them, whereas the UK’s doesn’t. If the UK is to participate in the EU system then the FCO will have to upgrade (if that’s the word) its plans and issue whatever the EU decides on, either a sticker in the passport or a separate card, probably the latter.

The FCO’s claim to be committed by regulations therefore appears to be based on its pretending that the UK is a signatory to Schengen when it really isn’t. The FCO explains the Schengen position here, so we don’t have to, but the UK’s attitude to Schengen can probably best be summed up as one of being in for the bits we like, but out for the bits we don’t. How ‘in’ we are on this one might turn out to be less clear than is immediately apparent.

Matters will be further complicated if the UK ID scheme flies. Those resident in the UK for over three months will be required to register for a card, so might this process take place via an overseas office on the granting of visas for over three months? How, if at all, will the current/planned FCO system intersect with the ID scheme, or with Europe’s VIS or a European ID card for non-EU residents?

The FCO claims it will cost £77 million to handle 2.5 million biometric visa applications, and our anonymous tipster for this story suggests this might imply a one-off cost of around £1.8 billion for biometric capture of the entire UK, but we’re not so sure. It’s not clear how much of the FCO cost is capital investment or the annual cost of the system, and what the FCO is planning isn’t necessarily comparable to the Home Office’s ID plans. Unless the FCO intends to maintain its own system in splendid, stripped-down isolation, however, we’d expect the actual cost to climb as the need for compatibility with the other systems increases.

Foreign Minister Jack Straw did not however like the ID scheme in the first place, so may not be willing to bust a gut to keep step with it now, particularly given heartening news that Ireland (another non-Schengen country) may junk biometric passports, and that the US might be about to conclude that biometric passports aren’t nearly as much fun as it initially thought.

Source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/06/27/bio_visa_check_outsource/

August 29, 2007

Biometrics India – E-passports

The Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs, Shri E. Ahamed informed the Lok Sabha today in a written reply to a question that the Government have decided to introduce e-passports, also known as bio-metric passports, initially for diplomats and officials as a pilot project by the end of 2007. Based on the experience gained from this pilot project, it is proposed to start issuance of e-passports in the ordinary category by the end of 2008. A Technical Committee has been constituted to finalise the technical specifications of the e-passports and this matter is under examination.The cost of converting ordinary into bio-metric passports will be worked out on the basis of the technical specifications that are finalised.

The Government have been continually taking a number of steps to bring about more transparency in Passport Offices. These include computerisation of all Passport Offices, introduction of on-line registration, tele-enquiry, passport adalats, strengthening of grievance redressal mechanism, etc. The National Institute of Smart Government (NISG), Hyderabad has prepared a comprehensive study on passport issuance system. The implementation of this report will, inter alia, enhance further transparency in the functioning of Passport Offices.

Source: Government of India Press Information Bureau

August 28, 2007

Biometric cash machines bring joy

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6478627.stm

Mahendra Sahni

Mahendra Sahni can now collect his money without wasting time [Pics: Prashant Ravi]

These days Mahendra Sahni, a daily wage worker in India’s most backward state of Bihar, struts up to a gleaming new cash machine in his village to withdraw his hard earned money.

The middle-aged, illiterate fish farmer from Vaishali district makes about 2,000 rupees a month ($44).

For years he used to waste nearly a day getting to the bank and queuing up to get his wages.

Now, when he inserts a cash card into the machine, he is greeted with an voice instruction in Hindi: “Please put your thumb on the specified space.”

When he does that, crisp currency notes roll out of the machine with the voice saying, “Your cash is ready. Please accept it.”

Sahni and 14 other poor daily wage workers from Vaishaligarh and neighbouring areas are among the first villagers in Bihar to have access to biometric cash machines to withdraw their money.

“This shows how science has made progress and can be used for poor village people like us,” says Sahni.

The biometric cash machines are custom-made for people who cannot read or write and use features like fingerprint verification and voice guided animated screens and easy navigation.

The federal government has now announced that everybody in Vaishali employed under its ambitious new National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme will get their wages through these new cash machines.

The scheme promises some 60 million households in India a level of financial protection through guaranteed work or unemployment benefit.

Banking made easy

For the moment, the cash machine run by the state-run Central Bank of India, is targeting some 210 daily wage workers in the area.

“It is basically for poor workers like Sahni who cannot read or write their names. Banking for them will become easy with these cash machines,” says the bank’s local manager Pranay Kumar.

Biometric cash machine in Vaishali, Bihar

Biometric cash machines promise to change banking in rural India

The biometric cash machines work through a series of processes.

First, the fingerprint of an account holder is captured through a scanner at the time of the opening of the account.

A template is created for each fingerprint and stored in the cash card given to the customer.

When Sahni goes to the cash machine and inserts the cash card, his fingerprint is captured using an inbuilt scanner and it is matched with the impression stored in the cash card.

Central Bank’s executive director K Subramanyam says biometric devices will go a long way in offering banking services in India’s villages where 70% of its people live.

Payment through cash machines will also protect the workers from local contractors who routinely extract a cut from their wages in return of getting them on the list of government employment schemes.

For the moment, Sahni and his neighbours are happy to have discovered a hassle-free way of withdrawing their meagre savings.

The entire procedure of cycling to the branch and going through the paperwork with help from others and waiting in the queue for the money took up valuable work time.

The other day, he picked up 1,000 rupees in five minutes flat from the cash machine and cycled back home to begin work again.

“Withdrawing money couldn’t be a better experience,” he says.

August 25, 2007

Biometric IDs for Slum Dwellers – Biometrics Fingerprint solution in Maharastra Mumbai Pune India

 Source: http://www.techtree.com/India/News/Biometric_IDs_for_Slum_Dwellers/551-81605-547.html

Land sharks in this city don’t spare even slum dwellers it seems…

Which explains why the Maharashtra government has decided to bring in a biometric ID system specially for slum dwellers, to protect them from the greedy bunch.

Reportedly, the identification system is meant for only those slum dwellers in Mumbai, who come under the purview of the state-sponsored slum re-development project.

The government has taken the decision subsequent to receiving several complaints that alleged slum dwellers being enticed into giving up their property to real estate developers, looking to start illegal construction on these plots of land.

Swadhin Kshatriya, Principal Secretary of the State Housing Department, said, “The move to bring in the biometric identification system comes in the wake of several cases filed by slum dwellers, who have complained that their plots are being developed without their consent.”

“Initially, the identification process will be introduced in schemes approved by the state Slum Re-development Authority (SRA). This will help us reduce the number of complaints to a great extent,” Kshatriya said.

Under the biometric ID system, a unique number will be created for each beneficiary. And the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has reportedly already started digitizing city maps to ascertain the authenticity of slum dwellers’ claims for accomodation under the SRA scheme.

In future, the biometric system will be introduced for the Dharavi Redevelopment Scheme, and redevelopment of BDD ‘chawls’ spread across South Central Mumbai.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.