DHS cites need for biometric exchange standards

A Homeland Security Department official said national and international standards are needed for sharing biometric information. DHS and the Defense Department, for example, have a practical need to exchange biometric information on some people captured in Iraq.

“The work here…is not just an academic exercise,” said Brad Wing, systems and standards coordinator for DHS and co-chairman of the National Science and Technology Council's Biometrics Subcommittee. Wing spoke Sept. 19 at the Biometric Consortium Conference in Baltimore.

Biometric exchanges between DOD and the Justice Department rely on linkages between those agencies' fingerprint systems, Wing said. The State Department and DHS share data to perform background checks on visa applicants.

Wing said 75 projects are under way to establish biometrics standards for technical interfaces, data and interchange formats, applications profiles, testing and reporting. As of April 19, he said, seven international and 22 national biometric standards have been approved in the past five years.

He said researchers are evaluating hardware and software for new kinds of biometric scanning, such as 10-fingerprint scans and slap scans.

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