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SIA Endorses Biometrics In Federal E-Verify Program

Technology can fix shortcomings in program, association says
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Biometric identifiers should be made a part of the federal E-Verify program, the Security Industry Association (SIA) said in a statement.

E-Verify allows employers to use Social Security numbers to confirm that job applicants are legal residents of the United States and can lawfully work for them. The program, though, is subject to significant error rates and is unable to detect fraud and identity theft. The use of biometrics, according to SIA, “can reduce these error rates, increase privacy and enhance identity assurance.”

“The federal government must ensure that the employee information entered is protected and bound to the correct employee,” SIA stated. “Biometric authentication is a strong means to identify potential illegal workers as well as prevent fraud and identity theft. Biometric authentication of the employee also provides an audit trail to help safeguard against system abuse or breach by employers accessing the system. With more than 182,000 employers enrolled and 1,200 more enrolling every week, the time to implement this technology is now.”

SIA noted that the federal government has already incorporated biometric technology into other programs, including the Personal Identity Verification program and the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program.

SIA plans to release specific recommendations regarding the use of biometrics for identity management soon.

The Security Industry Association ( is the leading trade group for businesses in the electronic and physical security market. SIA protects and advances its members' interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation on Capitol Hill and throughout the 50 states; producing cutting-edge global market research; creating open industry standards that enable integration; advancing industry professionalism through education and training; opening global market opportunities; and providing sole sponsorship of the ISC Expos, the world's largest security trade shows and conferences.

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