Committee reviews U.S. law enforcement’s use of facial recognition technology

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Regulation held a bipartisan hearing Wednesday morning to review the use of facial recognition technology (FRT) by law enforcement agencies, particularly the policies of the FBI. The committee reviewed the current state of FRT, its many uses, benefits and challenges, and ultimately assessed whether any legislation is required. Last May, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report stating that the FBI should better ensure privacy and accuracy in its use of FRT,

EPIC files FOIA lawsuit against FBI over biometric database system

Privacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a lawsuit against the FBI, earlier this month, to force the agency to release all documents related to its plan to provide the Department of Defense with access to biometric information, according to a report by On the Wire. The biometric data — which includes fingerprints, iris images, and facial photos — is stored on the FBI’s Next Generation Identification system, which the agency has been using for a few years. “With

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

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

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

FBI proposes that its biometrics database should be excluded from privacy laws

The FBI proposed last week that its biometric database be excluded from several provisions of the U.S. Privacy Act, which states that all federal agencies must notify individuals about any records they acquire and retain regarding them, according to a report by Softpedia. The FBI’s Next Generation Identification System (NGIS) is a database that contains the biometrics data (fingerprints, eye scans, facial scans, and DNA samples) of both criminals and non-criminals in the U.S. The NGIS is often used to

AMREL incorporates Integrated Biometrics fingerprint technology in its FBI certified rugged biometric handheld

AMREL announced that the FBI has certified its XP7-ID rugged biometric handheld. AMREL developed the XP7-ID in cooperation with Integrated Biometrics. Fingerprints are captured by Sherlock, an Integrated Biometrics module which utilizes a state-of-the-art light emitting sensor. This sensor uses very little power, needs less maintenance than traditional methods, and captures FAP-45 quality images. “This is an important milestone not just for us, but for the security and law enforcement community,” explains Richard Lane, AMREL Vice President of Strategic Business

Biometrics Technology Center speeding up local, state and federal criminal investigations

The FBI Biometrics Technology Center in North Central West Virginia opened for use last month with its first employees settled in just before Christmas. Supported by the late U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., the four story, 360,000 square foot, state-of-the art facility took about ten years in planning and construction due to the exacting standards needed for a highly secure compound. The FBI shares the facility with the Department of Defense. Employees at the facility work on cutting edge

FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) program wins Excellence.Gov award

The FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) program has been awarded for Excellence in Intergovernmental Collaboration by the The American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) at the 15th Annual Excellence.Gov Awards. The event honors the best of government information technology (IT) programs demonstrating proven strategies and solutions. A total of 30 finalists from 21 federal, state and local government agencies were featured this week at a reception in Washington, D.C.. The FBI rolled out the Next Generation Identification (NGI) program