The U.S. military’s biometrics program scored a big win in the war on terror this year when the system was used to recapture Afghan prisoners who broke out of the Saraposa jail in Kandahar.
Wired reports that the military has been a proponent of biometrics over the last seven years, pouring billions of dollars into creating databases, systems and tool sets to capture Afghans’ biometric information and check it against that of insurgents and detainees.
While the system has had issues functioning properly in the heat, it did play a role in nabbing 35 of the 475 prisoners who tunneled out of the jail this past spring, showing that the military’s biometric database can be a useful tool.
The database, called the Automated Biometric Information System, collects iris scans, fingerprints and facial data. Through several different tools, troops can use this data at checkpoints to help identify whether individuals are wanted.
The military has plans to increase the amount of data in the system and eventually turn it over to the Afghan government.
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