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.”

Tackling the problem of security remains the primary goal, yet facilitating trade and travel across the border is important, Hashem noted. The project manager also said that many use cases leveraging the technology have been tested in the trade space and that this will be the first-ever use case in the travel space.

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.”

According to Hashim, the major concern was the skepticism surrounding the need for blockchain technology when the legacy system already works. Even though the Government is “hungry” for new technology, the lack of a “value proposition” is what deters the adoption of the technology, she cited.

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