Sagem Morpho Inc. introduced the MorphoAccess 521 TWIC biometric reader, a smart card access device to meet Transportation Security Administration implementation requirements for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program. The MA521 TWIC is designed to read encrypted biometric data, such as a digital fingerprint, perform the match to the cardholder and perform an active card authentication across a contactless interface.
To gain access to a secure port facility, the worker will hold his or her TWIC card up to the contactless interface on the reader. Depending on the security level at the port credential holders may have to do different things. At the lowest security level the reader will first read the cardholder ID to verify that the card is authentic, unaltered and active.
At a higher level of security after the card has been authenticated, the MA521 TWIC passes the Federal Agency Smart Credential Number to a secure server where the privacy key for that cardholder is retrieved and loaded onto the biometric reader. The MA521 TWIC then uses the privacy key to unlock the biometric information stored on the card and proceed with live verification of the cardholder.
At the highest level of security, in addition to the biometric authentication, the reader performs a challenge/response dialogue between the reader and the credential to perform an active authentication. In unattended situations the reader is capable of implementing liveness detection to identify the presentation of a fake finger. At the highest level of security the entire process takes less than two seconds. At the lowest level of security the process takes less than a second.
Sagem Morpho a developer of biometric solutions including fingerprint, iris and facial recognition – has initiated the process of submitting the MA521 TWIC compliant device and technical documentation to TSA for an Initial Capability Evaluation. TSA will formally begin the TWIC biometric reader evaluations on July 21 with completion expected by January 2009.