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Chile launches biometric identification system, aims to tackle organized crime

Chile launches biometric identification system, aims to tackle organized crime

Chile is rolling out an automated biometric identification system (ABIS) with the intention of tackling organized crime. Launch materials show hardware is also supplied by Idemia.

The system will instantly identify known criminals, irregular migrants and the dead who have no form of identification, by cross-referencing the biometric databases of the civil registry, the civil police (PDI) and Interpol, according to the Santiago government website.

The 4.9 billion peso project (US$5.6 million) for the capital region will be implemented by the end of the year and will work across fingerprints, palm prints and face biometrics. They will be used across 27 police units in the region, specifically for migration, forensics and “daily control.”

Santiago’s biometrics launch announcement is primarily political, covering security and fear of crime. It also includes photographs of fixed biometric capture equipment and mobile devices, the latter being Idemia technology.

Idemia was awarded a 10-year contract to supply digital ID services to Chile’s Civil Registry and Identification Service back in spring 2022. This not only covers user authentication via face, fingerprint and iris biometrics and creates a new digital ID system for accessing government services, it also provides Idemia’s Multi-biometric Recognition System (MBIS). Its eventual connection to national security organizations was anticipated at the time.


This post was updated at 1:20pm Eastern on August 20, 2022 to note that the software is part of the contract signed in spring 2022.

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