State Department considers handheld biometric scanning

State Department considers handheld biometric scanning

The State Department’s Diplomatic Security Bureau is looking for information on mobile devices it can use in the field to securely capture biometric and biographic information from unknown individuals and to confirm the identify of "known persons of interest."

According to a request for information, Diplomatic Security wants to determine the current capabilities and price point of the market for either a smartphone or tablet-based solution.

The mobile platform must be capable of capturing and handling biometric and biographic information and communicating wirelessly through a virtual private network. Devices should weigh three pounds or less; be rugged and durable enough to function reliably in various outdoor conditions; and run for a minimum of seven hours without need for battery replacement or recharge.

Captured biometrics will include fingerprints, facial images and iris images, and the device must be able to store 200 subject records. Data and security standards must comply with those of the Justice Department, the Defense Department and Interpol.

Similar handheld biometric collection devices are already being used by the Defense Department and are being tested by Customs and Border Protection. Law enforcement agencies use mobile biometrics devices to conduct sobriety tests on parolees, and many states and local police forces use mobile scanners to check a suspect’s fingerprints against those stored in FBI’s national fingerprint database.

The Diplomatic Security Bureau is the security and law enforcement arm of the State Department that ensures safe and secure environments for the conduct of U.S. foreign policy

Responses are due March 20.

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a reporter/producer at GCN.

Before joining GCN, Leonard worked as a local reporter for The Smithfield Times in southeastern Virginia. In his time there he wrote about town council meetings, local crime and what to do if a beaver dam floods your back yard. Over the last few years, he has spent time at The Commonwealth Times, The Denver Post and WTVR-CBS 6. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received the faculty award for print and online journalism.

Leonard can be contacted at mleonard@gcn.com or follow him on Twitter @Matt_Lnrd.

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