Blockchain integration with biometrics could bolster travel security, says US Custom and Border Protection official


In a recent summit, Sikina Hasham, the program manager at US Customs and Border Protection, said that blockchain technology can be used for biometric tracking.

According to Skift, the recent JetBlue Technology Ventures Blockchain in Travel Summit in New York City witnessed the tech industry opening up to the still nascent Blockchain technology. Speaking to David Post, the Managing Director of IBM Blockchain Ventures, who was the moderator for the evening, Hasham reportedly said that blockchain can be leveraged for biometric data, which can revolutionize the travel security sector.

Talking about Blockchain’s use case, the federal law enforcement official said,
“One area we’ve seen a significant amount of success in is the facial comparison and biometric data. There is a service we’ve created to verify who an individual boarding an aircraft who is as they’re seeking admission into the United States. If we could have more data for the verification from another government party, that would be really great for us.”

Talking about the technology’s core being decentralized, Hashem admitted that there is still a lot to figure out. She noted that the government deploying Blockchain technology in place of the traditional database for security aspects would be critical. She said,

“We are still working on figuring out how industry stakeholders in the technology space will help us get a better sense of [the blockchain] privacy and decentralized information are some of the challenges we as a government organization have a legal obligation to protect.”

When we discuss biometrics and identifying people by biological characteristics, this could be a dangerous use for blockchain. As we all value privacy and wish to keep that intact as much as possible, using an immutable technology such as this for storing biometric information seems like an inherent mis-use of the technology. While it is interesting to see the possibility for a real world use case, this does not seem to be the way to go.

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