Army scouts biometrics

NSTISSC acquisition policy

The Army is exploring whether commercial security products and services

are the answer to the Defense Department's biometrics needs.

In an inquiry to industry last week, the Army's Communications and Electronic

Command Acquisition Center, Fort Huachuca, Ariz., detailed the department's

needs for biometrics hardware, software and services. The products would

secure information activities within the United States and operational zones

such as Bosnia and South Korea.

Biometrics is an authentication technology that relies on unique physical

characteristics, such as fingerprints, irises and voices. The Army is looking

at those and other biometric technologies as well as training and support.

Responses are due by Nov. 21.

All products must comply with the Biometrics Application Programming

Interface standard overseen by the BioAPI Consortium. The products must

also comply with the National Security Telecommunications and Information

Systems Security Committee's acquisition policy that calls for DOD to give

preference to products evaluated under the international Common Criteria

Evaluation and Validation Scheme.

Products are being evaluated by commercial laboratories under the accreditation

of the National Information Assurance Partnership of the National Security

Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

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