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U.S. Homeland Security to hold biometrics for 259M people by 2022 and seeks new capabilities

U.S. Homeland Security to hold biometrics for 259M people by 2022 and seeks new capabilities
 

The IDENT database held by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will hold biometric data from at least 259 million people by 2022, according to projections contained in a recent Office of Procurement Operations presentation reported by Quartz.

The information is from a slide deck presented at a DHS industry day on October 30, according to Quartz, and shows DHS has increased its forecast for the number of people it will hold fingerprint, facial, and iris biometric data for by roughly 40 million over 2017 estimates.

According to the industry day presentation, DHS is seeking new Biometric Support Center (BSC) examination tools for multimodal biometric analysis, an interoperable and scalable web-based portal for HART, new reporting and analytics capabilities, mobile applications, and matching capabilities for contactless fingerprints, palm prints, scars, marks, and tattoos (SMT), voice, DNA, and other modalities.

Quartz notes concerns about the extent of DHS’ information-gathering and the accuracy of the technology registered by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and in the process cites the poor accuracy of a live facial recognition trial in the UK as an indication of the inaccuracy of DHS software.

“Hopefully the general public becomes more aware of the risks that come with the more immediate advantages of all these new digital technologies [like] free social media, quickly paying [bills], smoothly going through airport control,” Frank Slijper, who heads the Arms Trade group at non-profit advocacy group Pax, told Quartz.

OBIM Identity Operations Division Director Patrick Nemeth told Biometric Update last year that the database is growing by about 20 million people per year, and that data requests are filtered through three layers to ensure information is not inappropriately shared.

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