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DHS is going bigger with its next face biometrics rally

DHS is going bigger with its next face biometrics rally

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security opened industry applications for its 2022 Biometric Technology Rally.

The department’s Science and Technology directorate is emphasizing discerning people in groups and their level of consent to face biometric scanning.

Competitors are to address the challenge of reliably screening small groups of people opting in to facial recognition from among bystanders who have not consented.

The competition will be an unattended “high throughput” scenario where group-processing systems must rapidly capture biometrics from multiple subjects.

Companies will have to match photographs and identify faces, acquire only needed biometric images and meet performance benchmarks for demographic groups.

Testing will take place in the Maryland Test Facility in September.

Results will be used to assess the performance and interoperability of matching algorithms. The results also will provide feedback to participants for product refinement.

Homeland Security reportedly will not keep rally data collected.

Annual rallies, which started in 2018, most recently explored the effectiveness of facial recognition for individuals wearing masks.

Arun Vemury, head of the directorate’s Biometric and Identity Technology Center, says, “Previous rallies were focused on effectively processing individuals one at a time with and without face masks. ”

Vemury says the reality is, “People often travel in families or groups.”

An information webinar will be held on May 25, and interested organizations wishing to attend the webinar should contact the department by May 23. Applications are due July 1, 2022.

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