DOD is on track to add biometrics to Common Access Card

DOD is on track to add biometrics to Common Access Card

The Defense Department is pursuing an aggressive timetable for incorporating biometric identifiers in its Common Access smart card.

'We've got a road map, we're moving along it, and we're moving fast,' Army CIO Lt. Gen. Peter M. Cuviello said today at the AFCEA TechNet International Conference in Washington. The Army is the lead service for DOD's Biometrics Management Office.

The Common Access Card is the government's largest public-key infrastructure deployment. Cards containing digital certificates are to be issued to all active duty civilian and military personnel by the end of next year. By January 2005 the department expects to be operating the government's first enterprisewide biometrics program. A physical identifier, such as a fingerprint, hand geometry or facial scan, will be linked to the card to authenticate identity.

The timetable calls for BMO to complete a functional requirements analysis and an approved products list by January, and to complete an architecture design and begin a technology demonstration by May. A draft policy framework on how to use biometrics will be ready by October, with initial operational capability expected by January 2004. Full operational capability will follow in a year.

The office already has conducted 12 biometric device field tests and evaluated 56 commercial products.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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