Travel insurance: Air passengers 'to be tagged'

Friday, 13 October 2006

Air passengers could be electronically tagged in a move to defeat terrorism and make us all feel safer in the air, a report said today.

Having booked your flights, hotel and got a cheap travel insurance quote online, your next travelling outfit might well be t-shirt, shorts and the electronic tag.

Researchers at University College London are prototyping the tags, which do not store any data, at an airport in Hungary. Each tag emits a signal which contains a unique ID and staff are able to cross-reference this with their passenger information.

Dr Paul Brennan, the electrical engineer leading the project, said: "In our system, the location [of passengers] can be detected to an accuracy of 1m and video and tag data could be merged to give a powerful surveillance capability."

He said that airport security would improve as well as the tags providing a new application for finding lost children or late passengers.

The problem of passengers possibly switching tags remains unsolved.

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