Japan and the U.S. mull fingerprint data-sharing

September 11, 2013 - 

Japan and the United states are looking to formalize an agreement for sharing fingerprints of convicted criminals.

According to a report in the Japan News, the system will be rolled out in two stages and Japan is set to establish the legal framework in the country as soon as next year, with the intent of launching the system for investigations a ‘few years’ later.

The way this has been envisioned is that either country could ask the other if they have recorded fingerprints of people suspected to be involved in serious crimes – like terrorism – by sending fingerprint data. If there is a match, the other country would send its recorded fingerprints for comparison. Specifically, it’s reported that the data being shared would come from the Japanese National Police Agency, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.

Currently, the two countries are said to share fingerprint information, but it is through a paper submission process. This new system would be digital and results will be provided much faster, reports say.

Reported previously, Accenture has recently been awarded a nine-month contract worth $30 million from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to expand international data-sharing capabilities and secure web services for the Office of Biometric Identity Management. Specifically, work under this contract will support sharing between the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada and Australia.

International biometric data-sharing has been a hot topic lately – particularly in Europe – as the European Data Protection Supervisor published a scathing response to a proposed biometrics entry and exit system for travellers in the EU, which noted concern for data-sharing outside of the union, as well as with law enforcement agencies.

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About Adam Vrankulj

Adam Vrankulj is an editor for BiometricUpdate.com. His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for CBCNews.ca, 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