Organizations respond to FBI’s call to exempt biometric ID database from privacy laws

Forty-six privacy, civil liberties, and immigrants’ rights organizations sent a letter to a group of senators and congressmen, urging their committees to hold oversight hearings to assess the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Next Generation Identification program and their use of biometric data. The letter also called on the committees to require the FBI’s compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974 and enforce ongoing public reports on the FBI’s use, collection, retention, and disclosure of biometric information. Addressed to Senators

Africa benefits from biometrics as an identifier

This is a guest post by David Gerulski, VP at Integrated Biometrics The recent ID4Africa forum in Kigali, Rwanda was as exciting as it was insightful, with a buzz surrounding new technologies for launching digital ID systems throughout the continent. For mobile biometrics specifically, what is going on in Africa is truly a case of technology rising to meet the demands of a populace. The push for biometrics in Africa accelerated in September 2015, when world leaders adopted the United

The rise of biometrics and identity management in the homeland security enterprise

This is a guest post from the Secure Identity and Biometrics Association (SIBA). The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is in the process of making significant financial, organizational and operational investments in biometrics and identity management. Much of this investment has occurred in the past year. In June 2015, DHS issued its Biometrics Strategic Framework, which indicated that the Department will refresh outdated biometric collections systems; centralize access to federal and international biometric databases; improve real-time access from field locations;

FBI has access to 412 million images for facial recognition

According to a new report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has access to nearly 412 million photographs for the purpose of running facial recognition. The images include both passport and driver’s license photos, along with mug shots. The FBI plans to expand its vast database of photos with the addition of 20 additional states. Currently, the FBI has agreements with seven states to share images. The images are shared under the

Congress votes to form cybersecurity unit with differing biometrics operation plans

The Homeland Security Committee approved a new bill Wednesday by a voice vote to form a new agency within DHS that addresses cybersecurity protection responsibilities, according to a report by Nextgov. The bill calls to transform an existing DHS bureaucracy, the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), into an “operational” agency called the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Agency. The new agency is expected to take effect under the next White House administration in 2017. A 2015 bill appointed the DHS

MOSA wins FBI contracts for new biometrics capture devices and solutions

Earlier this week, MOSA Technology Solutions announced that it has been awarded several new contracts valued at $750,000.00 USD by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to provide a variety of new biometric capture devices and solutions. According to the company website, MOSA’s extensive vendor relationships enables them to provide customers with multiple device and vendor agnostic options for biometric authentication which meet industry-specific and government mandated requirements for security measures. The FBI Biometric Center of Excellence (BCOE) Clarksburg, West

Groups oppose privacy exemption for FBI biometric database

Forty-four privacy, civil liberties, and immigrants’ rights organizations sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) this week asking for an extension to the comment period concerning the FBI’s request to modify the Privacy Act. The federal law enforcement agency is asking for certain provisions of the act to be changed concerning the use of criminal history record information and biometric identifiers within its Next Generation Identification system. The Next Generation Identification system is designed to advance the

NIST studying biometric matching algorithms for tattoo database

According to a report in ITNews, computer scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will soon begin the second round of an independent study into which biometric matching algorithms work best for pairing tattoos with criminal suspects, unidentified victims, and alleged gang members. In a presentation at the Biometric Institute’s Asia Pacific conference, NIST’s Mei Ngan and Patrick Grother said that in the US, tattoos are often used by law enforcement to identify persons of interest but

100 million mobile SIMs registered with subscribers’ biometric details in Bangladesh

According to a report in BDNews24.com, over 100 million mobile phone SIMs have been re-registered with the biometric details of subscribers. That is more than 76 percent of active mobile phone connections. The re-registration process, which began on December 16 last year, is aimed at controlling crimes committed by using mobile phone connections under false identity. The deadline to re-register active SIMs is May 31. According to the Bangladesh State Minister for Telecom, Tarana Halim, “unregistered SIMs will be deactivated

Police errors, paperwork delays force destruction of biometric data of 800 terror suspects

According to a report in The Telegraph, the fingerprint and DNA profiles of up to 800 terror suspects have been destroyed because of errors by the police and the Security Service. That is approximately 10% of the individuals whose biometric profiles are held in the UK Government’s counter-terrorism databases. Sources told The Telegraph that the destruction took place because paperwork was not completed which would have allowed biometric data to be stored indefinitely while critics called for an investigation into