Thursday, November 05, 2009

U.S. Builds Largest Biometric Database

Sharon Weinberger writes on Aviation Week:

One of the most important innovations in the FBI's post-9/11 counterterrorism efforts consists of a portable workstation and a miniaturesatellite dish. Called the Quick Capture Platform (QCP), it electronically scans fingerprints and beams them to a database here.

"What it provides is the capability from anywhere for an agent to send prints to the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) and the Defense Dept.'s Automatic Biometric Identification System (ABIS)," says Roy Bowlen of the FBI, who helped develop the system.

IAFIS and ABIS together make up the largest trove of fingerprint data in the world.

The fingerprints are scanned into a digital format and data are beamed via satellite to an underground data center. There, the computerized systems search the database and shoot back matches, "a lot of times in under 2 min.," says Bowlen.

More here.


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