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Unisys, Idemia push new biometrics system live for Dept of Home Affairs

Unisys, Idemia push new biometrics system live for Dept of Home Affairs

Can quickly ID and verify travellers and Visa applicants coming into Australia

Credit: Dreamstime

The Department of Home Affairs has pushed the button on its Enterprise Biometric Identification System that was developed using Unisys Stealth and Idemia’s facial and fingerprint recognition technology. 

Unisys initially won the contract with Home Affairs in 2018 worth $44.2 million at the time, replacing the biometrics matching system it has supported for the last 12 years. 

The project, which took 18 months to deliver, involved the design and implementation of the EBIS, which will be used to match facial images and fingerprints of people wishing to travel to Australia against biometric watch lists seeking to identify people of security, law enforcement or immigration interest.

The system simultaneously facilitates the processing of legitimate travellers and is designed to support anticipated growth in visa applications, border clearances and applications for citizenship over the next 10 years.

In the future, EBIS will provide the capability to quickly flag people who may be crossing the border with fraudulent identities.

EBIS is based on the Stealth(identity) multi-factor identity management and authentication solution, which supports face, finger, iris and voice recognition. It can sustain high-volumes of more than 100,000 transactions daily, and can retain large-scale galleries of more than 100 million records, according to Unisys.

Stealth(identity) provides the core biometric identity management functionality of EBIS including the user interface, workflows, business rules, identity data and record linking and auditing functionality. 

The core of EBIS’ fingerprint and facial biometric matching solution uses biometric matching algorithms from Idemia based on its Multi Biometric Search Services (MBSS) engine. 

The product combines high scalability (over 1 billion identities possible) with high availability and can include other modalities such as iris recognition.

Unisys Asia Pacific vice president and general manager Rick Mayhew said it worked closely with the department and augmented identity provider, Idemia, to help deliver the solution. 

“The long term growth in the volume of travellers that will hopefully return after COVID-19, as well as the increased risk of potential terrorist or fraudulent activity, means that effective border security is more important than ever,” Mayhew said. 

“EBIS provides Home Affairs with greater confidence in verifying an individual’s identity for efficient and early detection of criminals and persons of national security concern who change names and obtain passports using false identities."

Tim Ferris, President of IDEMIA Asia Pacific and Senior Vice President for Public Security and Identity, added the deal was a continuation of years of engagement in the Australian Borders ecosystem. 

“The combined strengths of IDEMIA behind Unisys provide the Department of Home Affairs with a flagship platform to secure the border now and into the future,” he said.


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