Airline Security: biometrics, security ratings… any rights?

biometric scanningCongratulations! You have a personal security rating by the US government, the EU is sharing all data about passengers, the governments are introducing biometric passports, and the UK has now introduced biometric scanning of passengers.

I hope you feel safer!

Passengers at Heathrow airport are being invited to sign up for a trial of the most advanced passenger screening equipment in the world.
Travellers will be able to bypass long queues if they have their fingerprints biometrically scanned, while face and eye scans will be introduced soon.

Those trying the miSense system have the scans at the same time as their passport is scanned at check-in.


The British Aiport Authority suggests that such electronic keys will enable customers to pass through airport process smoothly. Though it is difficult to imagine Heathrow or JFK as smooth as Dubai’s e-gate card system, which requires one fingerprint and a full face photograph, but thereafter a one gate check in!. The British version will require 13 identifying scans of fingerprints, irises and face!Italian biometric passport

Whilst the UK, USA, Canada, Singapore, Norway, Italy to name but a few, have adopted biometric passports, though the Dutch system has already been cracked!

Biometric scanning is not new, but as we take is and the news from the US in conjunction it is clear that governments around the world will all be able to access to our most personal details… is this a step in the cause of liberty or are these restrictions (innevitably though they may be) playing into the hands of the terrorists, have the terrorists won by derailing our lives?

Global Nomads will innevitably have to manage these challenges and no doubt like me you have been pulled aside (especially in the US) for more detailed checking following their discovery of visas in your passport from wierd and wonderful terrorist havens.

I for one have an uncomfortable feeling that increased paranoia concerning people of different cultures, their ways and means will increase as the fear frenzy escalates,  allowing ever more defenses to be thrown up in the name of “security” concerns… when will this stop?

We witness this in many cities around the world as the rich, then middle class willingly segregate themselves from poorer, increasingly percieved as, crime ridden neighbourhoods. Extrapolating such a social problem to an international scale may potentially lead to greater isolation and marginalisation of whole swathes of nations and possibly countries, religions, cultures or races. Will we still be arguing that we are winning the war of terrorism then?

EU airline security restrictions… from 6th Nov.

From 6th November 2006…travellers in European Union have tight restrictions (less than 100ml) on hand-luggage carrying of liquids, gels and pastes.

New security restrictions apply to anyone travelling from any EU airport, experience suggests this applies to transit also).