“The nonprofit agency is not focused exclusively on biometrics, but works across a range of technologies, developing tools, for example, to hack IoT devices like smartwatches, among other efforts.”
A new Forbes report has shed light on a secretive institution engaged in heavy-duty R&D on biometrics for the government.
Called Mitre, the organization was spun off from MIT in the late ’50s, and now has an annual budget of between $1 and $2 billion in government funding. The nonprofit agency is not focused exclusively on biometrics, but works across a range of technologies, developing tools, for example, to hack IoT devices like smartwatches, among other efforts.
Nevertheless, its work in biometric tech has been intensive, and perhaps groundbreaking.
Since 2015, for example, Mitre has been working on technologies for the FBI to capture fingerprints from images on social media platforms. It has also helped the FBI to develop facial recognition technology and to build the latter’s Next Generation Identification platform, a repository of a range of biometric data. And Mitre has provided technical support to US Customs and Border Protection for its Rapid DNA screening technology.
Mitre has even done work for the CIA to examine whether an individual’s body odor changes when they are lying, a truly novel biometric avenue. And the research suggested that odor biometrics may indeed help to indicate deception.
None of this work would deliver technologies straight to the commercial market. As a nonprofit, Mitre turns its tech over to the government, as well as academic and private organizations. As such, Forbes investigation – based on many FOIA requests and interviews with individuals involved with Mitre, has exposed a major player in the US biometrics industry with almost no market presence.
July 14, 2020 – by Alex Perala