The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a “Biometric Strategic Framework” outlining plans for its use of biometric technologies until 2025.
The goal of the document is to create a strategy for using biometrics to ensure national security and public safety. The framework details goals and objectives the agency plans to undertake. “Although DHS has lacked an overarching biometrics strategy to date, activities to advance DHS biometrics capabilities are underway, such as the planning for the re‐architecture of the DHS Automated Biometrics Identification System, research and development activities within the DHS Science and Technology Directorate, and various biometrics initiatives being implemented by DHS Operational Components,” the framework states.
The first goal is to enhance the effectiveness of subject identification. This includes refreshing outdated biometric systems, centralizing access to federal and international databases, improving real-time access in the field and expanding the use of multi-modal biometrics.
While fingerprints make up the majority of biometrics systems used by law enforcement and other government agencies, facial recognition and iris is starting to be used as well. By adding multiple biometric modalities Homeland Security will be able to better identify individuals by using a layered approach.
The second goal is to transform identity operation to optimize performance. This goal will be attained by automating resource intensive identity processes, implement person-centric biometric processing and expedite security processes using identity verification capabilities.
Homeland Security plans to speed up the processes by implementing identity verification capabilities that will quicken processing time, while maintaining or enhancing security. The system will also use biometrics rather than credentials or documents to verify an identity in order to reduce vulnerabilities and fraud.
The third goal is to refine processes and policies to promote innovation. Some of the objectives include: institutionalizing joint requirements efforts, establishing DHS-wide biometrics authorities, developing privacy policies and processes, enhancing stakeholder communications, implementing standardized solutions, and establishing governance and ensure appropriate oversight
The full framework can be downloaded here.