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Aussie state police considering broader biometrics platform

Aussie state police considering broader biometrics platform

Calls to pause law enforcement use of facial recognition notwithstanding, state police officials in Australia are considering a very much expanded biometric platform.

New South Wales Police is requesting information about systems capable of building complete biometric profiles of criminals.

This request echoes a project underway elsewhere in the state government to build a unified mobile driver’s license, or mDL, platform.

The system (for which there is no funding yet) from one or multiple vendors has to be customized to NSW Police requirements, providing “end-to-end biometrics capture and analysis,” according to reporting by iTnews.

It sounds like the department wants to record every possible identifier as it moves away from a reliance on facial images. The definition of biometrics is left open-ended.

Face, fingerprints, voice and DNA scans are mentioned, but “other biometric analysis services” could include gait and voice, for instance. The successful platform will also capture, analyze and classify tattoos and scars, too.

The police agency today uses an almost two-decade-old custom package of identification products called PhotoTrac that captures and stores photographs of people charged with crimes.

Facial examiners compare potential matches against more than 1 million images in that database, according to iTnews. NSW Police is the biggest police agency in Australia.

Fingerprints are collected using 142 LiveScan scanners made by Idemia at police stations throughout the state for matching against a national database. About 100,000 sets are harvested annually.

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