US-Japan Biometrics Sharing Agreement Takes Effect

US-Japan Biometrics Sharing Agreement Takes Effect

An agreement to facilitate the sharing of biometric data between police authorities in Japan and the US has taken effect, The Japan Times reports. The deal concerns Japan’s National Policy Agency and America’s FBI and Department of Homeland Security.

The countries first came to the agreement in 2014. While there were already previous agreements in place concerning cooperation between the countries’ law enforcement authorities and the sharing fingerprint information, government officials say that the new agreement is aimed at streamlining the sharing of biometric data and eliminating long delays between requests for data and its delivery.

The agreement’s implementation reflects a broader trend around the world as government and police authorities seek to catch up with the rapid evolution of biometric identification technologies in law enforcement, border control, anti-terror, and other areas. In the summer of 2016, for example, a group of ASEAN countries established an agreement to share the biometric data of known terrorists; and in the summer of last year, the House Homeland Security Committee passed a bill aimed at establishing a legal basis for the sharing of biometric intelligence on foreigners between the US and partner governments.

The agreement between the US and Japan, which took effect earlier this month, concerns the sharing of data pertaining to individuals accused of crimes punishable by death, or imprisonment of a year’s term or more.

Source: The Japan Times

January 28, 2019 – by Alex Perala