by Lance Turner
Posted 9/25/2001 11:59 am
Updated 2 years ago
Company leader Charles Morgan predicts the system will "dramatically improve" airlines' ability to check the identity of passengers while protecting passenger privacy.
Acxiom said it is developing an identity verification system to help airlines validate passengers' personal information. The checks could take place in real time as passengers buy airline tickets and check in at airports, the company said.
The initial version of the system will be available in October. Acxiom said it will use AbiliTec, its customer recognition and data integration software, in the verification system.
The system is based on Acxiom's Application Verification System, which the insurance underwriting industry has used since 1996 to prevent fraud. Acxiom began retooling the software after terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., in which hijacked airplanes destroyed the World Trade Center and Pentagon killing thousands.
"It will take some significant changes, and those are under way," Acxiom spokesman Dale Ingram said. "And working closely with the airline industry and others to make sure that it fits their needs."
Ingram said the system also might be useful for hotels, cruise lines and building security companies where volumes of data are available but aren't integrated well, and information isn't shared.
"After recent tragic events, consumers seem to be in overwhelming agreement that reasonable forms of identity verification be conducted before they board airline flights," Morgan said in a news release. "And we are confident that they'll welcome the opportunity to participate in a shorter, less involved process to better ensure their safety."
The new identity verification system will combine elements Acxiom has traditionally delivered to clients: data content, data delivery, customer data integration and analysis. The information is scalable and can be customized to suit clients' needs, Morgan said.
"Larger users will be provided solutions specific to their needs, and Acxiom expects most of these solutions will include data management and other services," he said.
Acxiom said it is working with airline, security and legal experts in designing the new system and determining how it can best be deployed. Acxiom also said it has talked with government officials and members of Congress about the system.
Shares of the information technology company (Nasdaq: ACXM) were trading at $9 on Tuesday after closing at $8.81 on Monday.