• Vetting & citizenshipMore than 800 ineligible individuals granted U.S. citizenship owing to incomplete fingerprint records

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted U.S. citizenship to at least 858 individuals from special interest countries — individuals who had been ordered deported or removed under another name. DHS IG says that this happened because neither the digital fingerprint repository at DHS nor the repository at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) contains all old fingerprint records of individuals previously deported. Currently, about 148,000 fingerprint records of aliens from special interest countries who had final deportation orders or who are criminals or fugitives have yet to be digitized.

  • TerrorismU.K. to destroy biometric information of 45 terror suspects due to botched paperwork

    British security agencies will have to destroy fingerprints and DNA of forty-five terror suspects because the police retained the biometric samples longer than the law allows. The law does allow the police to keep biometric information of terrorism suspects indefinitely, but certain paperwork must be completed within a certain period of time to allow that, and if the paperwork is not completed, the samples must be destroyed. A new report reveals that Britain holds biometric information and materials on nearly 8,000 suspects.

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  • RefugeesNew biometric measures to identify, track refugees

    Refugees applying to come to the United States go through several different security measures aiming to make sure that they who they say they are, and that they are involved with terror organizations or criminal gangs. The security screening includes detailed interviews, three levels of background checks, three fingerprint screenings, contagious disease screening, and cultural orientation. The United States has plans in the works for additional biometric measures, including iris scanning and rapid-turnaround DNA testing.

  • European securityParis attacks expose weaknesses in Europe’s security structure

    The 13 November attacks in Paris offered a painful demonstration of Europe’s security loopholes which the terrorists exploited to their advantage. The attacks should serve as a wake-up call to Europeans that the continental security structure, built in another era, is no longer sufficient and needs to be adapted to new circumstances. Whether or not such adaptations can be made, and made in time before the terrorists decide to launch another attack, is an open question.

  • BiometricsImproved performance of facial recognition software

    Who is that stranger in your social media photo? A click on the face reveals the name in seconds, almost as soon as you can identify your best friend. While that handy app is not quite ready for your smart phone, researchers are racing to develop reliable methods to match one person’s photo from millions of images for a variety of applications.

  • BiometricsFlorida mulling banning school collection of students’ biometric information

    Some school districts in Florida, including Polk County and Pinellas County, are using scanners to collect fingerprints and hands, eyes, and voice characteristics from students. Pinellas County school district allows students to use palm scans instead of cash to pay for meals in the cafeteria. The collection of students’ biometric information has alarmed many parents who are concerned that students’ identity or personal records may be stolen or sold to private companies. Florida state legislators are debating a proposal which would stop school districts from collecting biometric information from students.

  • Record sharingUpdated solution allows quick, secure information sharing

    Visual Alert 2 enables law enforcement agencies to get real-time access to police records through Pennsylvania’s Law Enforcement Justice Information System (LEJIS) and other authorized information sharing networks while the department maintains secure control of the information it shares

  • Olympic biometricsU.K. officials collecting biometric data for all Olympic athletes

    As athletes train for this summer’s Olympic Games, having their fingerprints and face-scans taken by U.K. officials will be part of their regiment

  • DNA databaseLaw enforcement supports N.Y. DNA database expansion

    A growing number of New York law enforcement officials have backed Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to expand the state’s DNA Databank

  • Fingerprint archivesMentalix wins contract to convert Texas fingerprint archive

    Mentalix Inc. was recently awarded a contract by Texas’ Department of Public Safety’s Crime Records Service to scan more than 1.4 million fingerprint cards from its oldest archive

  • US-VISITAccenture to bolster capabilities of US-VISIT

    DHS has awarded Accenture Federal Services a 13-month, $71 million contract further to enhance the capabilities of US-VISIT

  • DatabanksConcern over DHS move to create giant information databank

    In an effort to enhance DHS’ information sharing capabilities, the department is looking to construct an integrated database known as the “Federated Information Sharing System,” a move which has raised concerns from the American Civil Liberties Union

  • FBI’s databaseFBI adds biometrics to national databases to improve accuracy

    To help improve the speed and accuracy of its national criminal records database, the FBI is increasingly incorporating biometrics technology

  • Loss of biometric data from 9 million Israelis cause for concern

    With governments and businesses collecting an ever greater amount of biometric data from individuals, the recent theft of an entire database containing biometric data on more than nine million Israelis is serious cause for concern

  • Northrop wins $141 million follow-on contract for DOD biometric system

    Today, defense giant Northrop Grumman announced that it was awarded a $141 million follow-on task order to continue working with the Department of Defense (DOD) on its biometric identification system for military threats; under the contract, Northrop will continue work on the DOD’s Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS), which functions as the centralized database that collects facial, fingerprint, iris, and palm biometric records on individuals that the Department of Defense has identified as persons of interest