Feeds

Biometrics tackle immigration abuse

Fingerprint visas 'first line of defence'

High performance access to file storage

Fingerprint visas are becoming a first line of defence against illegal immigration, according to the Home Office.

The Home Office said it has taken more than half a million sets of fingerprints from visa applicants, equivalent to a set checked every 30 seconds, since the programme began last year.

"New fingerprint visas are fast becoming our first line of defence against illegal immigration," said Home Office minister Liam Byrne.

"By collecting fingerprint information on foreign nationals coming to the UK in advance of their journey, we are building a new overseas border control which is flushing out the false visa applicants."

Compulsory fingerprinting, which began in September 2006, is now part of the UK visa application process in just under half of the world's countries. It will cover around three quarters of the world's population once finished.

Fingerprints are taken as part of the visa application process and are then checked against UK government records to identify if the individual is already known to the immigration authorities.

Once in the UK the authorities can use the same data to check if someone is eligible to work, or to help re-issue travel documents if they are lost or destroyed.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister Dr Kim Howells said: "Recording biometric information allows us to fix an individual's identity at the earliest point practicable and track their future dealings with the UK."

The Home Office has highlighted a number of cases in which fingerprinting has helped immigration officers.

In one case a Sudanese businessman applied for a visa to come to the UK, claiming he wanted to go to the UK for shopping and tourism. Although he declared that he had not travelled to the UK before or ever been deported, a biometric check showed a failed asylum claim in 2004 under a different identity. His visa application was refused.

UKvisas, a joint directorate of the Home Office and Foreign & Commonwealth Office, is currently collaborating with several European countries in pilots on joint biometric capture.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.