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The effectiveness of the system has been studied by Home Office researchers who are conducting trials on eye-scanning technology to speed frequent flyers through Heathrow, Gatwick and other UK airports. Eye scanners are used as security devices inside the Bank of England, and the DVLA at Swansea is considering using iris recognition technology for the next generation of driving licences.
A recent trial for frequent flyers at Frankfurt airport produced less impressive results, but had not used the recommended mathematical modeling, insisted Daugman.
There have been attempts to fool the system by using eyedrops to dilate the pupils and make the iris smaller, but experts say the system has been refined to spot such tricks. "It's quite easy to detect if pupils are too large. The database in the UAE spans nationals from 152 countries. It's comparing 200 billion pairings: it's almost impossible to get an accidental match," said Daugman.