Australian Department of Home Affairs’ New Biometric System Goes Live
Unisys Corporation and IDEMIA recently announced that the Australian Department of Home Affairs’ new Enterprise Biometric Identification Services (EBIS) system has gone live. EBIS is based on the Unisys Stealth(identity)™ multi-factor identity management and authentication solution and, using IDEMIA’s facial and fingerprint recognition algorithms, is one of the world’s most accurate biometric identity management systems used for visa and border processing to secure Australia’s’ borders and facilitate the flow of legitimate travellers.
EBIS will be used by the department to match the facial images and fingerprints of people including those wishing to travel to Australia such as visa applicants and the facial images for citizenship applicants. 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 2019 there was a record annual 9.5 million visitors to Australia, 3.9 million more than 10 years earlier and 220,300 more than the previous year. To facilitate travellers’ journeys, border clearance staff need to efficiently verify the identities of travellers and confirm they are who they say they are to prevent delays, avoid queues and improve the overall experience for travellers. In the future, EBIS will provide the capability to quickly flag people who may be crossing the border with fraudulent identities.
Unisys designed and implemented the system within 18 months of signing the contract with the department. EBIS is based on the Stealth(identity) multi-factor identity management and authentication solution, which supports face, finger, iris and voice recognition. It is a robust solution designed for high-volume (more than 100,000 transactions daily) and large-scale galleries (more than 100 million records). 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. EBIS replaces the previous biometrics matching system that was also provided and supported by Unisys for the last 12 years.
Rick Mayhew, vice president and general manager, Unisys Asia Pacific said: “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. 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. We have worked closely with the department and our partner IDEMIA, the global leader in Augmented Identity, to deliver one of the world’s leading solutions to help protect Australia’s borders and national assets.”
The core of EBIS’ fingerprint and facial biometric matching solution uses industry-leading biometric matching algorithms from IDEMIA to quickly and accurately match fingerprints and facial images.
IDEMIA’s flagship product Multi Biometric Search Services (MBSS) is a multi-biometric engine that uses face and fingerprint matching algorithms. This product combines high scalability (over 1 billion identities possible) with high availability, which is necessary for mission-critical systems, integrated within IDEMIA’s world-leading biometric algorithms. The product can also include other modalities such as iris recognition, where required.
Tim Ferris, President of IDEMIA Asia Pacific and Senior Vice President for Public Security and Identity, added: “We are thrilled to provide the biometric engine that powers the EBIS solution. This is the continuation of years of IDEMIA’s 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.”
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