[IWAR] PRIVACY cruise ships, big brother

From: 7Pillars Partners (partnersat_private)
Date: Mon Apr 27 1998 - 14:25:22 PDT

  • Next message: 7Pillars Partners: "[IWAR] ATM security"

    Monday April 27 1:11 PM EDT 
    The Love Boat meets Big Brother
       By Gene Koprowski
       SAN FRANCISCO (Wired) - The pleasure vessel, the Love Boat, which served
       as inspiration for the inane TV series, may seem like the least likely
       locale for a new-technology trial. But the Princess Cruises ship will
       soon be serving as just that.
       Concerned about security problems aboard its ships, the company is
       rolling out a new digital-imaging system for its fleet -- the first
       high-tech, photo-security system in the cruise industry. Perhaps not
       surprisingly, Princess Cruises is also working with UPN to incorporate
       images of the technology in the network's new TV series, Love Boat: the
       Next Wave.
       The technology is called APASS, the automated personnel-assisted
       security screening system. APASS digitally photographs passengers as
       they board the ship, storing the images in a Borland visual database for
       instant retrieval during the cruise.
       Taking the photograph, entering it into the database, and processing the
       passenger through registration, takes just eight seconds overall," said
       Anthony Zagami, CEO of Sisco Corp., the company that developed the idea.
       "And time is of the essence on a cruise ship. "You have to board 2,000
       or more people in just a matter of hours," said Zagami, who is also a
       former secret-service agent.
       Why on earth would a company in a hospitality industry have to go to
       such lengths to ensure security aboard its ships?
       There are several reasons. Recent reports by the US Coast Guard have
       indicated the presence of stowaways on many cruise ships. "And the
       whereabouts of actual, paying passengers is also a growing concern for
       the industry," said Zagami.
       If a passenger goes ashore in Cancun, she checks out with the key card
       issued by the ship, which is linked to the database containing her
       picture. If she is not on board when the ship is set to sail, ship
       personnel -- for the first time ever -- will know and can alert police
       on shore.
       This apparently happens more often than the cruise industry would like
       to admit. "We're very enthused about the technology," said a
       spokesperson for Princess Cruises in Los Angeles. "It saves us money and
       time over the long haul."
       APASS itself is a mixture of high-speed, off-the-shelf digital cameras
       and computer-networking technologies. Zagami originally came up with the
       idea for the product while on a cruise with his wife. "When you're in
       the security business for 30 years, you start thinking about things like
       this," he said.
       Sisco integrated the technologies and developed a new, automated-entry
       security system. The networks are quite extensive on the Love Boat: even
       the entryway to the door in your cabin can be linked to the system's
       database. With the digital ID, only authorized passengers are allowed to
       board the ship at any of its ports of call. Zagami developed electronic
       kiosks linked to the digital-image network for passenger check-in.
       The Love Boat is not the only ship that will see the use of this
       technology. "We're planning on adding this security system for 10 more
       ships in 1998," says the spokeswoman for Princess Cruises. The Coast
       Guard is asking all cruise ships to have a tracking system for
       passengers by the end of this year.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 13:08:11 PDT