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ImageWare to Provide Biometric Port Security for the Republic of Ecuador

(June 27, 2012)

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 06/27/12 -- ImageWare Systems, Inc. (OTCQB: IWSY) (PINKSHEETS: IWSY), a leader in multimodal biometric security solutions, has been selected as the exclusive provider of biometric identity management for a prime contractor responsible for the implementation of cargo scanning security at seaports in the Republic of Ecuador.

While the full value of the contract cannot be immediately determined since it will be partially based on the eventual number of credentials issued during the seven year prime contract, it is expected to exceed $3 million. The award follows a similar contract ImageWare received earlier this year from the Los Angeles World Airports, operators of LAX and two other regional airports.

The initial deployment of ImageWare's biometric identity solution is planned to commence during the fourth quarter of 2012 at the Port of Guayaquil, the main seaport that handles the majority of Ecuador's imports and exports.

The implementation is intended to help the country's port authorities satisfy the requirements of the U.S. Safe Port Act of 2006. Since global seaports have historically inspected less than 5% of the containers imported into the U.S., congress passed the Safe Port Act to protect U.S. seaports from various security threats.

More than 700 ports worldwide that export to the U.S. must comply with the act before July 1, 2012, which stipulates that all containers loaded on a foreign port cannot enter the U.S. unless scanned by both radiation detection and non-intrusive imaging equipment at the foreign port prior to loading on a vessel.

ImageWare has been engaged to enhance the security of the cargo scanning system by implementing its biometric-based credentialing products along with the newly released Biometric Engine® 2.0, the company's patented biometric software platform (see "About Biometric Engine 2.0," below). The installation will provide for the secured enrollment and credentialing of port employees, contractors, vendors and visitors who have access to cargo areas.

"As the world's security needs expand, our channel partners are realizing the unique value, power and flexibility of our patented multi-modal biometric solutions," said Jim Miller, ImageWare chairman and CEO. "This includes a turn-key solution based on a seamlessly integrated single platform, which allows for both small and large scale enrollments, and the fusion of multi-biometric inputs resulting in a higher degree of authentication. Building upon two recent successful and major contract wins related to port security, we are aggressively pursuing a vast number of similar opportunities in the global market."

Ecuador was the 35th largest importer to the U.S. in 2011, with imports from Ecuador increasing 29% to $9.6 billion over the prior year. The port system of Ecuador is made up of seven state ports and ten private jetties. The state ports include three oil ports (Balao, The Freedom and Saltpeter) and four for shipping cargo (Guayaquil, Bolivar, Emeralds and Blanket).

About Biometric Engine 2.0
ImageWare's commercial and government agency clients have standardized on the company's patented Biometric Engine because of its unique ability to fuse multiple biometrics, providing flexible and efficient business processes for person identification by their physical traits, including face, fingerprint, iris and DNA. This results in increased security and risk mitigation through highly reliable verification of personal identity and the related granting of access to only trusted personnel.

The new 2.0 version of the Biometric Engine represents an evolutionary leap in multi-biometric data management. Key new features and capabilities include:

  • Greater scalability,
  • Faster performance,
  • Improved distribution of biometric data,
  • Vastly improved support for larger identity populations,
  • Greater population filtering and watch list management,
  • Critical new patent-pending feature: anonymous biometric identity management,
  • Superior integration with existing identity management solutions and enterprise service bus technologies; and
  • Still the only patented agnostic, open-architecture biometric recognition software solution that works with virtually all existing security hardware, software and algorithms.

About ImageWare Systems, Inc.
ImageWare Systems, Inc. (OTCQB: IWSY) is a leading developer of identity management solutions, providing biometric, secure credential and law enforcement technologies. Scalable for worldwide deployment, ImageWare's biometric product line includes a multi-biometric engine that is hardware and algorithm independent, enabling the enrollment and management of unlimited population sizes. ImageWare's identification products are used to manage and issue secure credentials, including national IDs, passports, driver's licenses, smart cards and access control credentials. ImageWare's digital booking products provide law enforcement with integrated mug shot, fingerprint livescan and investigative capabilities. ImageWare is headquartered in San Diego, CA, with offices in Portland, OR, Washington, D.C., and Ottawa, Ontario. For more information on ImageWare Systems, Inc., visit

Forward Looking Statements
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "intend," "may," "plan," "project," "predict," "if", "should" and "will" and similar expressions as they relate to ImageWare Systems, Inc. ("ImageWare") are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. ImageWare may from time to time update these publicly announced projections, but it is not obligated to do so. Any projections of future results of operations should not be construed in any manner as a guarantee that such results will in fact occur. These projections are subject to change and could differ materially from final reported results. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, see "Risk Factors" in ImageWare's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011, its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31 and its other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the dates on which they are made.

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