The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is moving forward with plans for its 2022 Biometric Technology Rally. The annual rally will take place in September of 2022, and is run by DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).
The Biometric Technology Rally is designed to spur the development of more advanced biometric screening solutions. Participants are asked to submit solutions that will perform well in tests that simulate real-world environments, such as airports and border control.
In that regard, the S&T wants to take things up a notch with this year’s rally. In the past, the agency’s tests have evaluated a solution’s ability to process individuals one at a time. However, people often travel in groups (for example, with their family), many of whom may not even want to opt into an automated biometric scan. With that in mind, the S&T is challenging developers to create facial recognition systems that can process people in batches, and that can do so while filtering out (and not processing) those who do not want to participate.
The S&T is interested in facial capture systems in addition to facial recognition algorithms. As a result, the providers of both are welcome to participate in the rally. The deadline for submissions is July 1, while the test itself will take place at the Maryland Test Facility. Those that participate will also have the opportunity to pitch to government agencies and other stakeholders during a Stakeholder Demonstration Day.
DHS will not retain the data collected during the rally, though it will evaluate the performance and interoperability of different solutions. Last year’s rally revealed that masks had a tendency to exacerbate the racial bias that is still present in many facial recognition systems, though companies like NEC and Rank One have performed well in masked evaluations in recent years.
May 25, 2022 – by Eric Weiss