Page 18 - Security Today, January/February 2021
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There are other emerging approaches, including a novel Austra- lian approach using MEMS DLP-like tech .
Not everyone with COVID-19 presents a fever, and not every- one with a fever has COVID-19. This may be why (in one paper at least) stand-off detection of elevated body temperature was less than 50% effective in detecting COVID-19 .
To be sure, stand-off elevated body temperature detection is NOT COVID-19 detection, but it can help in screening. For even more assurance, other vital signs can be monitored , including heart rate, respiration rate, and blood oxygenation levels – albeit requiring a little more time to capture. Perhaps we will start see- ing vital sign detection integrated in frictionless walk-through solutions - like metal detectors and millimeter wave imaging – at security checkpoints.
At least one airport recently announced that they will perform their own IR-based temperature screening AHEAD of the TSA checkpoint. Draft legislation in the Senate would require TSA to do temperature checks of travelers at all U.S. airports.XVI At least one airline and one airport have introduced on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers. XVII XVIII Advancement in testing now include a 45-minute PCT-based test for detection of contagious infected people who may be asymptomatic.XIX
Frictionless Travel and Privacy
Whether we see a stronger push to seamless, contactless pro- cessing of travelers is not only a technology question, but also a policy, privacy, and business-case question, which varies by ge- ography and local travel ecosystem structures. The biggest im- pediment to efficient, touchless travel is the varying policies and authorities within the travel ecosystem.
For instance, which entity will perform what functions, and who is going to pay for each part of this seamless, touchless travel solution is up for debate. Another impediment relates to privacy concerns regarding commercial and government interests, the touchless process, stand-off biometrics and information sharing between entities.
Another important privacy consideration is associated with vi- tal signs detection and health records. If, for example, stand-off temperature sensing is included in the process, privacy is an impor- tant consideration in the design. However, if temperature scanning is only used to detect and alarm when a febrile person passes a checkpoint, there may not be a privacy concern associated with the addition of the IR body temperature sensor. Standard protocol requires detected persons to proceed to a medical secondary, where the appropriate tests and medical history interview can be conduct- ed. Absent any associated face recognition or network connection to a back-end database, there may be no privacy concern, at least for the checkpoint. Of course it is a different story at the medical secondary point, where privacy and HIPAA restrictions will apply.
We are headed into a new age of air travel, where permanent changes could impact the associated processes. We now have the technology options and process flows available to make air travel better than it was before the pandemic. Touchless self-service and seamless, frictionless passage are possible with the innovations cited here, but only if we work together to make our travel experi- ences safer and more secure for everyone.
John Mears is the vice president and technical fellow specializing in biometrics, identity management and forensics at Leidos.

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