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 former reporter for GCN.


  • Records management: Look beyond the NARA mandates

    Pandemic tests electronic records management

    Between the rush enable more virtual collaboration, stalled digitization of archived records and managing records that reside in datasets, records management executives are sorting through new challenges.

  • boy learning at home (Travelpixs/

    Tucson’s community wireless bridges the digital divide

    The city built cell sites at government-owned facilities such as fire departments and libraries that were already connected to Tucson’s existing fiber backbone.

Stay Connected