Defense teams study biometrics for smart cards

Two teams are evaluating biometric technologies for use with the Defense Department's Common Access Card program. DOD will decide in November which type to use.

One million cards are already in the hands of military personnel. As many as 4 million will go out to active duty, reserve and civilian personnel over the next two years. The cards have photos and printed information as well as embedded chips to handle physical and computer access and encryption. The deadline for adding biometric identifiers is 2005.

Two vendor teams, led by KPMG Consulting Inc. of McLean, Va., and Northrop Grumman Information Technology of Herndon, Va., are testing biometric systems.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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