Monday, January 21, 2008

FBI Prepares Vast Database Of Biometrics

The WashingtonPost has an extensive article on how the FBI is embarking on a $1 billion effort to build the world's largest computer database of peoples' physical characteristics - 'a project that would give the government unprecedented abilities to identify individuals in the United States and abroad'. The article states that:

Digital images of faces, fingerprints and palm patterns are already flowing into FBI systems in a climate-controlled, secure basement here. Next month, the FBI intends to award a 10-year contract that would significantly expand the amount and kinds of biometric information it receives. And in the coming years, law enforcement authorities around the world will be able to rely on iris patterns, face-shape data, scars and perhaps even the unique ways people walk and talk, to solve crimes and identify criminals and terrorists. The FBI will also retain, upon request by employers, the fingerprints of employees who have undergone criminal background checks so the employers can be notified if employees have brushes with the law...

...The Department of Homeland Security has been using iris scans at some airports to verify the identity of travelers who have passed background checks and who want to move through lines quickly. The department is also looking to apply iris- and face-recognition techniques to other programs. The DHS already has a database of millions of sets of fingerprints, which includes records collected from U.S. and foreign travelers stopped at borders for criminal violations, from U.S. citizens adopting children overseas, and from visa applicants abroad. There could be multiple records of one person's prints.

Well worth a read.... Read article - 'FBI Prepares Vast Database Of Biometrics'

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