SAFLINK and Microsoft Partner for Possible Registered Traveler Venture

Companies spearhead a partnership to solicit interest in a privatized version of the Registered Traveler program


BELLEVUE, Wash. -- SAFLINK Corporation, a leading developer, marketer, and integrator of security solutions, announced SAFLINK is joining with Microsoft to spearhead a partnership to solicit interest in a privatized version of the Registered Traveler program. After meeting with stakeholders, jointly researching issues, and developing capabilities related to the program for the past ten months, both organizations are now mobilizing to create a powerful team to deliver a secure, privacy conscious and financially sensible solution.

"We analyzed the challenge of increasing travel productivity from a host of different perspectives. We believe our unique and effective solution, derived from over 30 years of credentialing experience would bring enhanced security to our nation's airports, while allowing frequent flyers to move through screening checkpoints faster," remarked Glenn Argenbright, CEO of SAFLINK. "We are now in the final stages of rounding out the members of our team, after which we plan to present to the government our proposed solution," added Argenbright.

SAFLINK's powerful combination of market-leading biometric and card-based identity management technologies provides Registered Traveler with an authentication solution with assurance levels comparable to those employed by the Department of Defense. These components, coupled with enterprise class software from Microsoft, and other market-leading partners, offer both the government and airport executives, a scalable, reliable, and secure framework for identity assurance and physical access security.

"Microsoft is very focused on homeland security solutions and working with partners to deploy technology for major DHS initiatives such as Registered Traveler. Central to Microsoft public sector's mission is working to support agency mandates to protect citizens and prevent problems before they arise. Support of this initiative with SAFLINK and other partners, makes a great deal of sense," said Tom Richey, Microsoft World Wide Director, Homeland Security. "We fully support the federal government's consideration of a privatized Registered Traveler program. Privatization not only promises to offer improved security and efficiency to our nation's air travel, it also promises to ease the financial burden on taxpayers," continued Richey.

Asa Hutchinson, former Under Secretary for Homeland Security and current SAFLINK board member, added "This approach allows for government oversight but eliminates the burden of federal funding of the initiative. It benefits the key constituents of this issue: the government, travelers and the country's business community. SAFLINK and Microsoft bring together a powerful combination of world class security, proven scalability, and enterprise expertise."

In excess of 280 million trips per year are made as nearly 40 million frequent travelers move through the nation's airports. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently announced plans to expand its ongoing Registered Traveler initiative to evaluate the viability of self-funded solutions implemented and managed by the private sector. Under the program, travelers would voluntarily provide basic personal information, along with biometric data, including a fingerprint or iris scan. Eligible program participants, having been pre-screened by the TSA, would proceed at the airport to a biometric security checkpoint designated for registered travelers. These lines would allow passengers at selected locations to move through an expedited security screening process.