To help keep 420,000 spectators, athletes and coaches safe during the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru, the country’s National Police conducted random security screenings in Lima, where the games were held. The security screenings, which occurred around the city and near venues that held the Games’ events, were used to deter criminal activity.
In the field, the officers confirmed people’s identity by using a smartphone app to scan the national identity card that Peruvians have on them. But the police were considering using biometrics to identify people and wanted to test biometric authentication during the Pan American Games. Peru’s government maintains a database containing the biometrics of its citizens. The police wanted a way to capture fingerprints and match them against the prints stored in the government’s database.
Hardware need not apply
The police wanted to avoid using hardware like portable fingerprint scanners. In addition to the expense, the National Police didn’t want to make their officers carry additional hardware. The method they used to capture people’s fingerprints had to be software based and integrate with the app the police used to scan national ID cards. This integration was the only way the project was financially and operationally viable.
The National Police turned to Veridium’s 4 Fingers TouchlessID technology to help it identify people using biometrics. This contactless biometric authentication system uses a smartphone’s rear camera to capture a person’s four fingerprints simultaneously. No additional hardware is required. Veridium’s 4F captures prints that are equal to ones captured using traditional flatbed scanners. The police liked that Veridium was software based, worked with a variety of smartphones, including ones that lacked biometric sensors, and captured high-quality prints that matched against the ones in the country’s database.
Secure, fast screenings
Using Veridium helped the police conduct the security screenings quickly and efficiently, according to a police colonel who couldn’t be named for security reasons. Providing officers with people’s fingerprints in addition to the information contained in their national identity cards allowed the police to more accurately identify individuals, he added. “Having all this information in their smartphones made the officers’ jobs easier,” he said.
And even though people in Peru are accustomed to using their biometrics in their daily life (to help combat fraud, Peruvian law requires people to register their SIMcards either using their fingerprints or national identity number), people were still intrigued by how the police used Veridium’s technology.
“Since this was a new technology, the people who were screened wanted to participate,” he said. Teaching officers how to use Veridium’s technology was straightforward. “A video and a short training session were all they needed,” he said.
After seeing how Veridium improved the officers’ ability to confirm people’s identities, the National Police decided to continue using Veridium after the Pan American Games ended. “Veridium is a fast, reliable and economic solution that’s easy to integrate and use,” the colonel said.