Iris scan 'poses Schiphol security risk'

11th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

11 February 2005, AMSTERDAM — Drugs and human smugglers can gain access to secure areas the other side of immigration controls at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam due to inadequate checks involving iris scan technology, military police said on Friday.

11 February 2005

AMSTERDAM — Drugs and human smugglers can gain access to secure areas the other side of immigration controls at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam due to inadequate checks involving iris scan technology, military police said on Friday.

To gain access to secure areas, a passenger card with an iris scan (Priviumkaart) and a boarding pass must be shown to custom officials. But inspections of a person's boarding pass occur infrequently, raising concerns of criminal activities at the airport.

Criminals can easily come and go from the secure area beyond immigration by picking up drugs or giving false documents to others. Others can simply wander through and take a look, newspaper De Volkskrant reported on Friday.

This is despite the fact that the Dutch government designated in January that Schiphol was a permanent security risk zone, in which the public can be randomly searched at all times.

Passengers with a Priviumkaart — which is issued by the Schiphol Group — do not need to wait in long rows for passport inspection. Via iris scan technology they can proceed directly to the secured area where hand luggage is inspected.

It remains unclear how often the iris scan card is abused. Some 15,000 have been issued and only a few have been seized by military police. The card costs from EUR 100 and forms part of a person's passport.
 
Passport control is under the authority of military police, but the inspection of hand baggage is conducted by private security firms. A Schiphol spokeswoman said the private security staff at iris scan check-ins are not obligated to check boarding passes and checks are done on a random basis.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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