America’s Department of Homeland Security has released a new strategic framework on how it plans to move forward implementing biometric technologies. Entitled “DHS Vision Statement on Enhanced Biometric Capabilities”, the document indicates a tightening embrace of the technology.
As GCN puts it, it’s a three-pronged plan. The first overall component is to enhance the effectiveness of its technology with more advanced, current technology, multimodal deployments, and the centralization of federal and international biometric databases. The second prong is to automate biometric identification, shifting from an approach based on encounters to an approach aiming to identify everyone as a matter of course. Finally, the third component of the plan is to improve the overall efficiency of biometric identification processes through standardization and innovation.
It’s a timely report as the DHS increasingly explores the possibilities of biometrics in real-world deployments, most recently with a pilot project exploring biometric passenger screening at airports. It’s also timely given the intensifying scrutiny and debate surrounding government deployments of biometric technology; the DHS’s plan to automate the process of biometric identification could prove particularly controversial from the perspective of privacy and civil rights advocates. However that plays out, most will agree that the DHS’s transparency in this new report is welcome.
September 3, 2015 – by Alex Perala