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An Investigation of Public Attitudes to the use of Biometrics in Transport Smart Cards

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Phil BlytheORCiD


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The use of smartcards as a payment and identity token has become widespread in recent years and is predicted to grow rapidly through the introduction of interoperable transport ticket payment schemes such at ITSO and IOPTA. Other transport related applications of smartcards such as access control, parking, flight boarding cards, smart passports, driving licences are also pushing the market for smart cards. In parallel with the transport-applications and services now being delivered or enabled with a smartcard, there is a growing realisation that the trend in smartcard systems is for a ‘citizen card’ which encompasses local and national government applications as well as transport. This move towards multi-application cards has led to a major concern regarding the need for authentication of the card owner and developing mechanisms to protect their owners from identity theft. Motivation for such theft could be commercial gain, fraud but also in the post 9/11 environment also terrorism related fraud. This paper proposes to present the results of a recent in depth study of public attitudes to the use of biometrics on transport smart cards. Options for the biometric used and how such a scheme should operate are included in the results and analysis.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Blythe PT

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Unknown

Conference Name: 10th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems and Services

Year of Conference: 2003