A VeriScan facial recognition tablet tells a passenger to proceed to the gate after taking a photo in the next phase of CBP’s use of biometrics at Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia on Sept. 6, 2018. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection Photo by Glenn Fawcett)

Legacy Systems Held DHS’ Biometrics Programs Back: Not Anymore

The Homeland Security Department is retiring the decades-old system officials use to analyze biometric data, and its replacement is poised to both refine and significantly expand the agency’s application of the controversial technology.

The new cloud-based platform, called the Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology System, or HART, is expected to bring more processing power, new analytics capabilities and increased accuracy to the department’s biometrics operations. It will also allow the agency to look beyond the three types of biometric data it uses today—face, iris and fingerprint—to identify people through a variety of other characteristics, like palm prints, scars, tattoos, physical markings and even their voices.

And by freeing the agency from the limitations of its legacy system, HART could also let officials grow the network of external partners with whom they share biometric data and analytics capabilities, according to Patrick Nemeth, director of identity operations within Homeland Security’s Office of Biometric Identity Management.

Read more at NextGov

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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