Canadian Forces looks to ramp up collection of biometric data

December 3, 2012 - 

The Canadian Forces is ramping up its capacity to collect biometric data in case other federal government departments need to have access to the information and technology.

In April 2010, then Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walter Natnczyk issued a directive to expand the Canadian military’s biometric collection capacity beyond those being detained in Afghanistan, the Ottawa Citizen reported in a recent feature.

Calling on Canadian Forces planners to shape research conducted with the Department of National Defence and Defence Research and Development Canada, Natnczyk’s directive also looked to identify future technologies to aid this objective and to “ensure the CF is technologically positioned to evolve the use of biometrics in support of other Canadian departments, if and when ordered,” according to documents obtained by the Ottawa Citizen.

In the feature, the Citizen also notes that Natnczyk’s original directive was “aimed at dealing with the Afghanistan mission, but did not explain whether the call to expand biometric capabilities to support other government departments as well as the need to conduct new research, was for future missions, support for domestic operations or a combination of both.”

As reported previously in, Canada has been gradually introducing biometrics to the country, its citizens and residents. Beginning in 2013, Canada will start to capture the biometrics of temporary residents. Also in 2013, Canada’s Passport Office will begin issuing 10-year biometric epassports to Canadians.

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Adam Vrankulj is an editor for His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj