• The Department of Homeland Security is reaching out to the private sector for ideas about advanced cloud-based biometric technology for immigration and border security.
     The Department of Homeland Security is reaching out to the private sector for ideas about advanced cloud-based biometric technology for immigration and border security.

The Department of Homeland Security Looks to Industry for Biometric Solutions

June 20, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
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Latest Request for Information from DHS seeks input on biometric capabilities.


The Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, has made a steady march toward the use of digital biometric data for identity management. After the attacks of 9/11, Congress mandated that DHS identify foreign airline travelers coming into the United States through digital fingerprints, and after that, required a biometric identification program for foreign nationals leaving the country. Since then, the department has added biometric identity management for U.S. citizens.

The department’s Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM), which is responsible for storing and analyzing identification information to support immigration and border security, is taking the latest step in examining cloud-based biometric technologies, and on June 17, issued a request for information (RFI) seeking the state of private industry capabilities.

The OBIM would apply those capabilities to its enterprise-level biometric identity services to support DHS agencies, such as Customs and Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Transportation Security Agency (TSA).

The OBIM is looking to merge digital biometric capabilities into its next generation identity management system known as HART [Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology], which will be hosted in Amazon Web Services (AWS) so-called GovCloud.

“Biometric matching capabilities for fingerprint, iris and facial matching will be integrated with HART in the AWS GovCloud,” the RFI stated.

Specifically, the OBIM is looking for companies that can develop and implement:

  • Biometric Examiner Tools;
  • Web Portal;
  • Reporting;
  • Analytics;
  • Person-Centric Capabilities; and
  • Mobile Applications.

Company responses will aid the department in its future procurement of biometric-related services. “The information submitted will help DHS in determining an appropriate acquisition strategy and may be utilized in the preparation of a future solicitation, provided DHS finds it in its best interest,” the RFI noted. “Vendors are encouraged to review this RFI and determine if their competency meets DHS requirements.”

The deadline for submissions is July 17, 2019 at 17:00 Eastern.

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