FB pixel

Defence Department continues improving ABIS biometric database


The Defense Department continues to improve the Automated Biometric Identification System as part of its global intelligence-gathering efforts, according to a report by FCW.

Headed by the Army’s Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems, the ABIS serves as a central repository for biometrics data from a range of combatant commands and military services.

ABIS is able to handle as many as 30,000 submissions a day and can store up to 18 million records, according to PEO EIS.

Soldiers in Afghanistan are collecting biometrics using a device called Biometrics Automated Toolset, and hardware called Secure Electronic Enrollment Kit II.

The hardware — which automatically captures and formats fingerprints, along with iris and facial images — has a keyboard for soldiers to type in biographical data regarding the subject.

The handheld device can be connected to a central workstation. Once connected, soldiers are able to upload biometrics data to any of the many servers across Afghanistan, which is then sent to the ABIS database back in West Virginia for correlation.

The FBI, the State Department and Homeland Security, along with a few other agencies, all use ABIS to verify biometrics matches for criminal cases and individuals on terrorist watchlists.

ABIS’ accuracy rate is directly dependent on the quality of the technology on which it is built. The system has significantly improved from its initial version (ABIS 1.0 in January 2009), right up to its most recent version (ABIS 1.2 in October 2014).

ABIS 1.2 has demonstrated increased throughput and capacity, as well as the ability to refresh the system’s hardware, said Col. Sandy Vann-Olejasz, DOD biometrics program manager at PEO EIS.

With better algorithms, ABIS 1.2 has been able to improve its accuracy rate, which ultimately gives the Army’s experts more time to analyze the sample matches and incorporate them into intelligence reports.

The full deployment of the system will occur no later than the first quarter of fiscal 2016, said Vann-Olejasz.
Despite its many improvements over the years, the operational test and evaluation environment fiscal 2014 review of ABIS emphasized that the database has significant cybersecurity flaws while both 1.0 and 1.2 versions failed to be consistent in matching individuals to a terrorist watchlist.

The technology behind ABIS will eventually have to be updated, said Vann-Olejasz, adding that the current version “will only take us so far due to software obsolescence and potentially hardware things.”

Meanwhile, the ongoing review of the acquisition strategy for ABIS will decide whether a new approach is required or “whether or not we will continue to, if you will, bolt on to the DOD ABIS architecture and framework,” she said.

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News


UK school reprimanded by ICO for using facial recognition without DPIA

A school in Chelmsford, Essex, has been reprimanded by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for the unlawful implementation of facial…


Tech5 introduces flexible biometric template protection for its ABIS

Tech5 has developed biometric template protection technology that it says meets the criteria set out in the ISO/IEC 30136 standard….


Maza streamlines KYC with Regula biometric and document verification

Regula has integrated its document and biometric verification system into Maza Financial, a fintech company based in the United States,…


More ballparks to get biometric entry through MLB’s Go-Ahead Entry

Major League Baseball continues to grow its facial recognition entry program with biometrics from NEC. An article in Sports Business…


Inrupt enters growing digital wallet market with pitch from WWW inventor

Inrupt has launched a digital wallet, which comes with a notable endorsement from an internet pioneer. A press release says…


OIX calls on new UK government to accelerate digital ID rollout

The UK should work toward a digital wallet strategy, provide clarity on how ID will work across the public and…


9 Replies to “Defence Department continues improving ABIS biometric database”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Read This Week

Featured Company

Biometrics Insight, Opinion

Digital ID In-Depth

Biometrics White Papers

Biometrics Events