Legislation spurs biometrics at the borders

Recent bills passed by Congress include:

Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act: Requires that visas issued in the United States and at U.S. missions abroad be biometrics-enabled by 2004; will have international ramifications as the 210 consulates that issue visas work through cultural, policy and technical issues.

USA Patriot Act: Requires the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop standards for biometric technologies for the purposes of conducting background checks, confirming identity and ensuring that a person has not received a visa under a different name.

Aviation and Transportation Security Act: Set in motion "passenger-expedited" or "trusted traveler" programs, which encourage airports and airlines to develop voluntary biometric-based programs for screening passengers.

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