NFV NEWS

Biometric Drivers Licenses Make Debut in Oklahoma

[April 20, 2004]

Biometric Drivers Licenses Make Debut in Oklahoma

SAGEM Morpho, Inc. a proven provider of mission-critical biometric systems and services, announced the successful deployment of biometric technology solutions for the Oklahoma Department Public Safety (DPS) in conjunction with Viisage, a provider of advanced technology identity solutions. SAGEM Morpho will combine its finger imaging recognition technology with Viisage's facial recognition technology to create accurate biometric records of the state's approximately four million licensed drivers. This is part of a new Oklahoma program to maintain digital finger image and photo records of all driver's license holders, eliminate duplicate licenses and reduce fraud such as identity theft.


"Since the driver's license is the de facto form of identification in the United States, it's critical for states to take measures to ensure the safety and security of their citizens," said Jean-Marc Suchier, president and CEO of SAGEM Morpho. "Not only can biometrics be useful in ensuring the identity protection of individual citizens, the technology is unparalleled at preventing identity fraud. We're honored to have the opportunity to work with Oklahoma on this project." The field of biometrics has come into increasing prominence in the driver's license industry in recent years. Oklahoma has followed the lead of several states -- including California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii and Texas -- that have passed legislation requiring the collection of finger image records from all licensed drivers and state identification holders. As the project moves forward, the Oklahoma DPS will collect the digital finger image and photo data in a database to verify that duplicate driver's licenses have not been or will not be issued in Oklahoma. The digital finger image and photo records contained therein will remain the sole property of the Oklahoma DPS.

"We are glad to provide the citizens of Oklahoma the ability to include their unique finger image and facial recognition information in their driver's license master files, especially as identity theft and fraud become more prevalent issues," said Jeff Hankins, Digital Driver License Project Manager of the Oklahoma DPS. "We are confident this new process won't add any additional time to a visit at the Oklahoma DMV offices and will help us to efficiently and securely obtain and store Oklahoma residents' biometric information." Biometrics Background Biometrics is defined as the use of unique identifying characteristics such as finger images to distinguish individuals from one another. Finger images have begun to see increased use in recent years in more civil and commercial applications worldwide such as state welfare systems, national census programs, access to buildings and other secure facilities, information security and other applications where positive identification is of paramount importance. Increasingly, iris and facial recognition technologies are being applied to positive identification applications.

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