DHS eyes next-generation biometric matching technologies

DHS eyes next-generation biometric matching technologies

The Department of Homeland Security has put out a broad request for information on emerging technologies and services that would help improve its biometric identity systems, including better uses of business intelligence, faster transaction processing and new ways of information linking. 

In a request for information from the IT industry, DHS’s Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM) said it is looking ahead to help ensure the government stays abreast of new developments in biometric matching and security as well as increased demands for its services.

“OBIM is proactively addressing its next-generation architecture and capabilities for replacing the current biometric system,” the notice said. “The vision represents a major investment to ensure that OBIM can continue to accommodate the expected growth of populations and new applications of multimodal biometric identity screening based on OBIM mission and our customers’ identity service needs.”

OBIM is DHS’s go-to office for biometric identity services. OBIM matches, shares and analyzes biometric data in order to provide accurate and secure biometric identity information and analysis to DHS and its partner agencies across the federal, state and local government spectrum.

OBIM currently operates the Automated Biometric Identification System, which contains more than 170 million biometric identities, and handles approximately 290,000 transactions per day.

OBIM also manages the Biometric Support Center, where fingerprint examiners perform comparisons 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to match fingerprints that OBIM cannot verify using its automated matching system.

OBIM’s other biometric identity services customers include the Department of Justice and its Next Generation Identification system, the Department of Defense’s Automated Biometric Identification System as well as the Department of State.

In its request to industry, DHS described a system that would be capable of performing the following functions:

Identity de-confliction.  Determining a person’s unique identity based on a combination of biometric and biographic traits and contextual data. It is also looking for new methods for continuous identity management, including enrollment of identities, splitting/merging of identities and updating identity confidence levels based on new information.

Advanced biometric matching. Techniques for leveraging and fusing different biometric methods in very large-scale systems while decreasing operations and maintenance costs for those large-scale systems, including system virtualization, footprint, energy usage and licensing costs.

Advanced biographic searching. Approaches for using biographic information to assist in the disambiguation of identity information. In particular, OBIM is interested in ways to improve in accuracy and speed of biographic search with products currently in production or technical readiness testing and evaluation.

High-performance transaction processing. Information on the direction of large-scale biometric and biographic transaction processing systems, including high processing speeds and high-volume, high-availability systems and architectures.

Business intelligence capabilities. Information on business intelligence architectures, techniques and software that can “provide better historical, current and predictive analysis of available biometric and biographic information, including the analysis of both operational and content data.”

Storage. Tiered and/or distributed storage and in minimizing processing and storage overhead, including ways to maximize input/output performance, retrieval of data, application independence and data integrity.

Information linking.  Best methods and techniques to link data to unique identities and to maintain the linkage on an ongoing basis, including capturing additional links, removing links and providing linkage information to those with permission and a predefined set of business rules. It is assumed the actual data would still reside in separate systems/databases within and outside DHS.

International biometrics.  An architecture capable of supporting and managing federated international biometric and identity- verification with multiple users worldwide that “ensures responsiveness while tailoring privacy, security and person-centric data to individual stakeholder needs.”

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