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L.A. Port To Use Unisys' Biometric Access Control

Unisys has integrated several other large-scale identity programs, including Australia's passport system with biometric passports.

The Port Authority of Los Angeles will use a biometric system for access control.

Unisys Corporation on Tuesday said it will design and manage the system, which includes smart cards and biometrics to control employee access to restricted areas in the Port of Los Angeles. The three-year contract falls under the federal Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC) program, overseen by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The program, established through the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, aims to secure maritime transportation and manage security threats in U.S. ports.

In addition to planning, designing, and developing the system, Unisys will field test and provide terminal operators with support for integrating the TWIC-enabled access control systems with tamper-resistant smart cards. The cards will contain fingerprint templates and digital photographs.

Workers enrolled in the program will present cards at all pedestrian and vehicular entry points and readers will determine whether the cardholder should be granted access. An alert will notify security officers of attempts at unauthorized access.

"Unisys is proud to provide security advisory and integration services to its customers in the maritime and aviation transportation industries, delivering proven security solutions worldwide. The benefit to our customers -- and to the constituents they serve -- is their ability to mitigate and manage risk," Tom Conaway, managing partner in charge of homeland security for Unisys, said in a prepared statement.

Unisys has integrated several other large-scale identity programs, including Australia's passport system with biometric passports; Malaysia's nationwide smart card program called MyKad; a field trial for about 20,000 people applying for temporary visas through Canada's citizenship and immigration offices; and for the Port of Halifax' biometric credentialing and access control database system for about 4,000 workers.

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