InterPort Police pilots new biometric access control solution

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Monday, April 9, 2012

EDMONDS, Wash.—The International Association of Airport and Seaport Police is piloting a new identification and authentication standard for entry control that shuns keys and proximity cards in favor of biometric technology that recognizes an enrolled individual as the entry key.

The new standard is called 1PASS—short for 1 Personal Authentication Security Standard—and uses what Jay Grant, CEO of the InterPort Police, calls "passive biometric fusion authentication technology." In other words, it utilizes a combination of HD video, facial recognition, speech analytics and behavioral analytics to positively identify and grant access to individuals enrolled in the local system, Grant told Security Director News. "I've been doing this for a long time," Grant said. "It's the smartest identity management stuff I've ever seen." (Visit www.1pass.org for more information.)

The first pilot has been in place for eight weeks at the entrance to the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey's Office of Emergency Management. While a spokesperson at PANYNJ declined to comment on the ongoing results of the pilot, Grant said the feedback has been positive, and the system has been able to identify 80 percent of the enrolled individuals in less than two seconds. The InterPort Police plans to begin a second pilot at MassPort in the coming weeks, followed by pilots at three more port facilities. "What we're trying to do is test our environments," Grant said. "We already know it works. But the first thing you have to do, because it almost looks too easy, you have to show people they can trust the system. And that's part of the process. We've taken it out of the lab, and now we're starting to quantify the test results in our environments."

Grant said the 1PASS system will be built out to handle eight different kind of environments, from a fixed building facility to borders and seaports. In a seaport environment 1PASS will be able to tie an individual to a particular truck using license plate recognition, and to the cargo container using its TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units).

The 1PASS solution is based on identity management and access control software developed by FST21, an Israeli company that arrived in the United States at the end of 2009. FST21's access control system SafeRise has been deployed in locations such as housing authorities. (Security Systems News' visited one such housing development in March 2011 to test the solution.) Hardware for the system consists of pre-certified, commercial, off-the-shelf components.

The InterPort Police has created a separate nonprofit, the 1PASS Authority, to manage the 1PASS program. It will also have an active software user group and standards committee to manage and improve the system. "We're working with the government and our authorities from the inside, not the outside," Grant said. "If there's a blemish, we’re going to tell them. This is just too important, we think."

The InterPort Police is also partnering with manufacturers, as well, to incorporate the system into varying environments. At ISC West, Boon Edam had a turnstile display with 1PASS installed. Grant said 1PASS was able to identify and grant access to roughly 50 people a minute through that turnstile.

Initially, when Grant began looking at potential standards the InterPort Police could adopt for its members, it looked at the PIV system [Personal Identity Verification standards used for access control to federal government buildings]. But Grant said he quickly discovered two things: Lots of people in the world didn’t want to hear about a U.S. standard, and secondly, it's costly. As for 1PASS, once the vetting is over, Grant expects the system will be available to the InterPort Police's global members for an estimated annual subscription fee of $60 per enrollee. Grant expects 1PASS to be a long-term investment for members. "It's tough to come by money today—I know, I look at all the money we spend on TWIC [Transportation Workers Identification Credentials] and it's just one program–we really need a viable program that spans all different security aspects and something that can be affordable, and this is," he said.

Speaking of TWIC, Grant called 1PASS a viable "companion option" to a TWIC card reader. "What we're trying to do is make TWIC useful," he said. "If you have a TWIC and you have 1PASS, theoretically if the Coast Guard approves it, which they haven’t yet, you'd be able to use it. The whole idea is you have to prove to the Coast Guard that, A, you have a TWIC card and, B, you have an efficient way of ensuring you have that security."

Comments

"secondly, it's costly. As for 1PASS, once the vetting is over, Grant expects the system will be available to the InterPort Police's global members for an estimated subscription fee of $60 per enrollee. Grant expects 1PASS to be a long-term investment for members."

So, what the cost per system, per access point?
Is the $60 subscription fee per enrollee per year?
What services does one get for this $60 subscription fee?