December 12, 2017 -
INTERPOL’s Fingerprints unit held the 1st INTERPOL Fingerprint and Face Symposium earlier this month, bringing together 125 experts on fingerprint examination and facial recognition from 58 countries.
Stressing the growing recognition of biometrics as a critical tool against transnational crime, speakers at the symposium included the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, the UK ACRO Criminal Records Office and the Biometrics Institute.
Member countries discussed the need to improve the quality of biometric data shared for more accurate identifications that can be used in prosecutions and shared examples of individuals successfully identified as the result of integrating INTERPOL’s biometrics databases into their border checks.
INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock urged law enforcement to move from a ‘need to know’ to a ‘need to share’ culture regarding biometric data on known and suspected terrorists.
“It is vital for our membership to continue the information flow through INTERPOL’s secure platform, as the proven method to close information gaps,” said Stock.
Earlier this year, INTERPOL launched Project First to assist law enforcement in member countries in enhancing their border security through the use of biometric data.
INTERPOL’s fingerprint database contains more than 180,000 records supporting more than 40,000 searches every year, leading to more than 1,700 global identifications in 2017. A facial images database was launched in 2016 with data provided by more than 135 countries and has generated some 50 positive ‘hits’ in its first year.