Hardware flaw preventing biometric data checks at U.S. embassies from being processed

June 18, 2015 - 

The State Department revealed that a computer flaw preventing a key system from processing and sending the security-related biometric data checks at U.S. embassies and consulates, will not be resolved until at least next week, according to a report by PC World.

The Consular Consolidated Database has been struggling with an unidentified hardware failure that has impacted applications filed since May 26.

So far, the government hasn’t yet to detail the exact number of people affected by the issue. However, 200,000 applications were affected when the system experienced a weeklong outage last year.

Since the biometric data is a mandatory component in processing applications, the hardware flaw has prevented the entire system from moving forward.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said while more than 100 engineers from the government and the private sector are working around the clock to resolve the issue, it does not “expect that the system will be online before next week”.

“We regret this inconvenience to travelers, recognize that this is causing hardship for those that are waiting for visas, and in some cases their family members or employers in the United States,” said Kirby, adding that since the failure is related to the security of the country, it cannot be bypassed.

The State Department said that the flaw is not related to a cyber security issue and is an entirely different issue than the one it experienced in July 2014.

It has also advised travellers to continue checking for updates regarding the issue on the department website.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.