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11/22/2010
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SIA Offers Guidelines For Biometrics In Federal E-Verify Program

Seven recommendations aimed at helping to “protect individual privacy and prevent identity theft”

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Security Industry Association (SIA) has released a set of recommendations for adding a biometric component to the federal E-Verify program.

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. SIA, on Sept. 16, released a statement asserting that the use of biometrics in the program “can reduce these error rates, increase privacy and enhance identity assurance.”

The recommendations paper follows up on that statement with seven specific guidelines for implementing a biometrics program in E-Verify in a way that will “protect individual privacy and prevent identity theft,” including:

* Use biometrics to bind an individual to a credential associated with an identity based on presented biometric data and identity documents, which will be associated with a vetted Social Security number. * Use biometric authentication of the applicant, post-enrollment, with each subsequent verification of application for employment. * Avoid unnecessary distribution of biometric data by encoding biometric data to a smart card for possession by the person associated with the data.

“Biometrics are the most accurate way of determining if people are who they say they are,” said Robert Horton of MorphoTrak, the chairman of SIA’s Biometric Employment Verification Working Group. “Adding biometrics to E-Verify would enhance privacy, reduce the risk of identity theft and increase the effectiveness of the program.”

The full set of recommendations is available on the SIA website.

The Security Industry Association (www.siaonline.org) 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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