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Heathrow extends iris recognition immigation system

Heathrow Airport has extended its iris-scanning immigration control technology to allow passengers to enter the country more quickly.

The technology had been used at Heathrow terminals two and four since last June, and has now been adopted by the busier terminal one.

Frequent travellers passing through Heathrow terminal one can use the Iris Recognition Immigration System (Iris) to enter the country without queuing to see an immigration officer at passport control.

Travellers who have had their details previously authenticated by an immigration officer are able to use the system. Registered users walk up to an automated barrier and simply look into a camera.

If the system recognises them, they are allowed to walk through without further checks. The system stores their iris patterns and passport details.

Immigration minister Tony McNulty said, “It is important that the UK remains at the forefront of the latest technology in immigration controls, and the government's commitment to Project Iris demonstrates this.”

The government’s proposed national ID card scheme, currently passing through parliament, relies heavily on iris recognition technology.

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