DAC fingerprinting drivers at Port of Houston

| 12/24/2002

DAC Services is testing a program at the Port of Houston where fingerprints are captured and stored on smart cards to confirm driver ID and to control access to secure terminal areas, the company said.

In a release, DAC said of its TransSecure program: "Access control based upon identity verification is crucial to enhancing security at our nation's seaports."

The effort also includes Maximus and International RAM. DAC is a private company providing employment screening and drug and alcohol testing for the transportation industry.

Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, said DAC's effort duplicates background check requirements at the federal level.

"DAC and its partners are private companies that should not be handling personal information related to truckdrivers entering port areas," Spencer said. "We've made our privacy concerns clear to the Justice Department as it implements its background check requirements, and they have said personal driver information only will be handled by federal officials."

H. Thomas Kornegay, executive director of the Port of Houston Authority, said, "We recognize this is merely a component of a required comprehensive security solution; however, it is an important component, as it gives us the ability to know more and verify who has access to our facility outside of our employees."

DAC has conducted training concluding with user testing and verification of drivers. The procedure at the terminal entrance involves the driver presenting a TranSecure card to security personnel and providing a live fingerprint on a portable biometric reader. A security guard compares the live print with the print template embedded on the TranSecure card to confirm a match before authorizing the driver to enter the area.

--By Dick Larsen, senior editor