The FBI’s pilot iris recognition program initiated in 2013 will likely be fully operational this fall, possibly by October 1. The agency also is developing tools to detect fingerprints that have been deliberately mutilated and a scanner large enough to get a print of the entire palm along with all five fingerprints.
Some people worry that artificial intelligence will steal their jobs, but machine learning algorithms now generate images of fake fingerprints that match the prints of one in five people on the planet. Other biometric identification systems, such as face and iris recognition, may also be vulnerable. The capability puts the mobile device industry on notice that current biometric authentication systems may not be adequate for securing cell phones and other devices.
Army researchers are providing a system to forces in Iraq that provides contact-free fingerprint, facial recognition and iris detection capabilities. The system has been deployed to an undisclosed location as part of a joint urgent operational need and will be assessed for about 30 days to determine if it might be used elsewhere.
It is designed to control access to sensitive areas. Personnel with common access cards simply walk through the system as they would any checkpoint, and the technology reads their various biometric signatures and displays the data on a screen monitored by an operator.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is working with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to evaluate new identity verification technology that can reduce the time it takes for travelers to pass through security. Proof-of-concept testing is taking place in select TSA Precheck lanes at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and Denver International Airport.
The U.S. government wants in on the resurgence of developments in contactless biometric technology, seeing smart applications of such devices in places such as airport security. But before device deployment, officials need to make sure the scanners and sensors actually do what they say they do—safely and accurately.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is working with a handful of private companies to develop data format standards, best practices and methods for certification testing on new products before any can be used.
The Department of Public Safety’s Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas (FAST) program has awarded a contract to MorphoTrust USA to expand the current network of 93 enrollment facilities to include 55 new locations in more rural areas. The secure fingerprint-based background checks will be provided at IdentoGO Centers. The award makes Texas the first state to implement the company’s new commercial enrollment platform. Civilian applicants seeking licensure, employment and volunteer opportunities in Texas at agencies, including the Board of Nursing, the Department of Family and Protective Services and the Texas Education Agency, among others, can benefit from increased access.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has selected MorphoTrust, Billerica, Massachusetts, as the prime contractor for its new Universal Enrollment Service (UES), the company recently announced. UES will transition multiple programs into a consolidated service with convenient locations for individuals requiring enrollment and registration for programs serviced by TSA. The checks include the capture of biometric (facial pictures and fingerprints) and biographic data to ensure that individuals seeking access to critical segments of the nation's transportation system, infrastructure, or sensitive materials do not pose a threat to national security.
U.S. government agencies continue to expand their biometric identity management capabilities and their ability to share biometrics data among the various agencies and international partners, according to government officials speaking at AFCEA's Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C.