INTERPOL Calls for Sharing of Terrorists’ Biometric Data

INTERPOL is calling on governments around the world to share the biometric information of known terrorists in order to help improve global security.

INTERPOL Calls for Sharing of Terrorists' Biometric DataThe call comes via INTERPOL’s General Assembly, which has convened for this week’s 85th ICPO-INTERPOL General Assembly Exhibition in Bali, Indonesia. In a statement, the global police agency said it currently possesses information about 9,000 terrorists, but that only 10 percent of its files feature biometric information, with INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock calling the lack of such data “a weak link” in the prevention of terrorism.

Some countries have taken strong steps toward such data sharing, with multiple ASEAN countries having recently agreed to share biometric data for counter-terrorism purposes earlier this summer. But many governments are currently grappling with how to manage such biometric data domestically, let alone share it; earlier this year, for example, the UK’s Biometrics Commissioner lamented the deletion of hundreds of terrorism suspects’ biometric data due in large part to procedural and bureaucratic issues.

Still, governments around the world are increasingly interested in both biometric security and fighting terrorism, and INTERPOL’s call could help to spur more cooperation going forward.

November 9, 2016 – by Alex Perala