DHS outlines biometric future

The Department of Homeland Security released its vision for how enhanced biometrics capabilities will transform the agency’s operations over the next 10 years.

The Department of Homeland Security released its vision for how enhanced biometrics capabilities will transform the agency’s operations over the next 10 years.

DHS has several biometric-based programs underway, including the Automated Biometrics Identification System as well as various research and development activities within its Science and Technology Directorate and operational components. This DHS strategic framework, released Aug. 26, will be used to identify and align DHS initiatives to meet strategic goals and objectives, the agency said, as well as identify gaps where action plans must be initiated.

The framework has three components:

Enhance effectiveness of subject identification. By updating its outdated biometric collection systems with current biometric technology, DHS will more efficiently collect high-quality biometric data. It will also centralize access to federal and international biometric databases to reduce complexity, eliminate duplication of effort and standardize communications with partners.  Other objectives include improving real-time access from field location and employing a layered identity verification approach that expands the use of multi-modal biometrics beyond fingerprints.  

Transform identity operations to optimize performance.  By automating identity verification, DHS expects to reduce processing time and enhance security. Shifting from an encounter-based to a “person-centric” view will make collected data available to more applications, improving decision making across the agency.  DHS also will work to identify and exploit ways to further implement biometrics to verify identity and reduce vulnerabilities and fraud.

Refine processes and policies to promote innovation. DHS intends to develop joint requirements to more efficiently address overlapping mission needs and oversight requirements, establish department-wide biometrics authorities and implement standardized solutions to minimize maintenance of duplicative services.

With this integrated, enterprise biometric framework that leverages the latest technologies, DHS aims to ensure national security and public safety while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of agency  operations.

The full strategic framework vision statement can be downloaded here.

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