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The FBI wants to be biometric central

“The FBI today is announcing a rapid DNA initiative,” said Louis Grever, executive assistant director of the FBI’s science and technology branch, during his keynote presentation at the Biometric Consortium Conference in Tampa.

The FBI is expanding beyond its traditional fingerprint collection practices to develop a new biometrics system that will include DNA records, 3-D facial imaging, palm prints and voice scans, blended to create what’s known as “multi-modal biometrics.”


In its search for fugitives, the FBI has begun using facial-recognition technology on millions of motorists, comparing driver’s license photos with pictures of convicts in a high-tech analysis of chin widths and nose sizes. Facial-recognition experts believe the technology has improved drastically since 2002, when extremely high failure rates led authorities to scrap a program planned for the entrances to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

“Everybody’s participating, essentially, in a virtual lineup by getting a driver’s license,” said Christopher Calabrese, an attorney who focuses on privacy issues at the American Civil Liberties Union.


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