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Homeland Security’s new biometric database can identify people through scars, tattoos and even their voice – as well as store fingerprint and facial recognition data

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Daily Mail
October 8, 2019

The Department of Homeland security is building a new biometric database that will be able to identify people through scars, tattoos, DNA, physical markings and even their voice.

Patrick Nemeth, director of identity operations within the DHS Office of Biometric Identity Management, expounded upon the new system in an interview published on Thursday.

DHS is currently in the process of soliciting bids for the new system, called Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology System, or HART, which replaces the old biometric database that was originally built to store fingerprints.

 ‘You can only take a 25-year-old system so far,’ Nemeth said in an interview with Nextgov. ‘When we get to HART, we will be better, faster, stronger.’

The agency’s existing database, the Automated Biometric Identification System, or IDENT, launched in 1994, and currently has biometric data on 250 million people.

IDENT stores traditional biometric data such as fingerprints, faces and irises. The new system will allow for additional data including scars, tattoos, palm prints, and more.

HART will also allow for upgraded search capability using multiple factors.

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For example, if authorities had a partial fingerprint and facial image from a suspect, on IDENT they would have to run two searches and compare the lists of possible matches.

HART will allow for a combined search on any of the available biometric data points, improving the chances of a match.

The new HART system will be housed on Amazon Web Services’ GoveCloud, rather than government servers.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 4:31 am

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