Most people keen to share biometric data for smoother travel

A study has revealed that 89% of citizens agree with the use of biometric identification to aid travel

A study of people’s attitudes to the use of biometric identification for travellers has revealed that 89% of citizens are willing to provide details such as fingerprints.

The huge backing comes despite the fact that 69% of the 3,000 people questioned have not yet shared biometric data.

The survey of people in the UK, Australia, France, Germany, Japan and the US was carried out by Accenture.

Over half (62%) of citizens in the six countries said they were willing to share biometric information to make their country’s borders more secure, 58% said they would give details if it sped up customs and border control processing, and 56% would do so if it made travel more convenient. UK citizens were the most willing of the six nationalities in every category, at 69%, 64% and 62% respectively.

“The survey findings show strong support from citizens for the greater use of biometrics to secure national borders, enable more convenient travel and facilitate faster processing through customs and border control,” said Mark Crego, head of Accenture’s global Border and Identity Services business. 

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“The majority of citizens are willing to share biometric details to help increase border security and, at the same time, reap benefits such as faster processing times at borders and more convenient travel.”

Pre-registration to help travellers clear customs and border control quicker is one reason that 58% of respondents said they would be willing to share their biometric details.

Only 23% of those questioned had used automated border clearance solutions, such as e-gates at airports and border crossings, but of those, 80% said they would use an e-gate again.

“The strong support by citizens for technologies that can improve travel and secure borders demonstrates how important it is for border management agencies to continue to adopt new tools that meet the demands of citizens and better manage the transit of people across borders,” said Crego. 

“Increasing the use of biometrics and introducing registered traveller programmes can make travelling faster, safer and more convenient, and strengthen both border and national security through improved intelligence gathering.” 

Of those questioned, 71% support the use of biometrics to verify the identities of all persons crossing borders, while 73% believe the use of biometrics makes countries more secure.

But 68% said that prior to sharing biometric information, they would want to know what security measures were in place to protect the data, and 67% would want to know how it was going to be used.

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