Chilean biometric security company TOC expects installed units to grow in Chile from 1,500 to 6,000 in 2011, and aims to reach 30,000 in the next five years, company general manager Ricardo Navarro told BNamericas.
Increasing demand for biometric identity and electronic signatures is driving company business in Chile, he said, and "countries like Peru, Argentina and Uruguay all use the bar code needed to make the system work, so we're ready to start operating outside Chile."
TOC provides electronic signature and identity authentication systems using finger prints. It is a partner of Japanese telecoms corporation NEC, which provides biometric software to Chile's civil registry. NEC owns the software used to decrypt the algorithms on the back of each ID card, and the information is stored on NEC's server.
"NEC didn't have the product to be offered in Chile, and the development of the software was done in Argentina. To bring the technology [from Argentina] we needed to pay 40% tax to import the software, so we offered to develop the technology here in Chile and pay NEC for the use of the license."
The system can read information stored in the civil registry to match the bar code from ID cards and fingerprints.
"The only information we have is the name and ID number of the person, nothing else. We don't have people's [criminal] records or anything like that. We don't create a database out of this either," said Navarro. "What we have is a backup for our clients so they can see their transaction statistics in their own system, but TOC does not keep a record of that information - it belongs to the client."
The system was recently used to control access to Chile's national stadium for a soccer game that authorities considered high risk, based on behavior of the teams' fans at past games.
"In this case, the interior minister gave us a list of people who were not allowed to get into the stadium. So when asking for ID, without even requiring the finger print, we would know if the person has some previous conviction for stadium violence. In those cases, of course, it wasn't us who arrested them, but the police," Navarro added.