Several years ago I received a notice from the U.S. Government requiring me to report to an austere federal office building in downtown Manhattan for biometric data collection. I was almost disappointed when it turned out to be little more than enhanced facial photography and fingerprinting. That was then. The FBI has now launched it’s “Next Generation Intelligence” program and it is far more akin to what I had in mind: So-called multimodal biometrics (i.e., voice, iris, facial, etc.). There’s a wealth of information on the FBI’s site explaining their impressive but worrying capabilities, current and future; here’s a taste:
Driven by advances in technology, customer requirements, and growing demand for Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) services, the FBI has initiated the Next Generation Identification (NGI) program. This program will further advance the FBI’s biometric identification services, providing an incremental replacement of current IAFIS technical capabilities, while introducing new functionality. NGI improvements and new capabilities will be introduced across a multi-year timeframe within a phased approach. The NGI system will offer state-of-the-art biometric identification services and provide a flexible framework of core capabilities that will serve as a platform for multimodal functionality. A full and open competition was used to award the NGI contract to Lockheed Martin Transportation and Security Solutions. This multi-million dollar contract will consist of a base year and the potential for up to nine option years.
NGI will be the cornerstone that enables CJIS to meet its growing and evolving mission and continue to build its reputation as a global biometrics leader…
- Quality Check Automation
The Quality Check function of IAFIS is one of the first steps in IAFIS ten-print processing in which textual information is reviewed. At one point in time 98% of all transactions required a manual review. As of July 1, 2007, Auto QC was implemented. The QC Automation capability has eliminated the manual review of the majority of fingerprint transactions. Approximately 15% still require a manual review. This automation has provided our customers with faster response times and more consistent processing decisions. Just to give you an idea of how QC affects response times, the average processing time with QC automation is approximately .7 seconds, as opposed to a manual QC processing time of 16.1 seconds.
- Interstate Photo System Enhancements
Currently, the IAFIS can accept photographs (mugshots) with criminal ten-print submissions. The Interstate Photo System (IPS) will allow customers to add photographs to previously submitted arrest data, submit photos with civil submissions, and submit photos in bulk formats. The IPS will also allow for easier retrieval of photos, and include the ability to accept and search for photographs of scars, marks, and tattoos. In addition, this initiative will also explore the capability of facial recognition technology.
- Disposition Reporting Improvements
The NGI Program will provide a variety of options to increase the submission of disposition data. These options will include the electronic submission of disposition data via the Interstate Identification Index, the CJIS Wide Area Network, CD-ROM and other standard media, and potentially through a direct connection to federal courts. A portion of this modernization began on September 2, 2007.
- Advanced Fingerprint Identification Technology
Advanced Fingerprint Identification Technology will provide faster, more efficient IAFIS identification processing, increased search accuracy, improved latent processing services, and allow for seamless searches of ten-flat fingerprint impressions for noncriminal justice purposes. (See below tables for IAFIS and NGI response times.)
The Repository for Individuals of Special Concern (RISC) provides law enforcement and partnering agencies with rapid/mobile identification services to quickly assess the level of threat that an encountered individual poses. Using a minimum of two or a maximum of ten fingerprint images-flat or rolled-RISC currently conducts an automated search against a limited population of approximately 2 million records. Currently the records include:
Electronic Ten-Print Response Times – IAFIS Criminal Civil Response Time 2 hours 24 hours Completion Rate 97.6% 98.8%
Electronic Ten-Print Response Times – NGI Criminal Civil High 10 minutes 15 minutes Routine 30 minutes 2 hours Low 24 hours 24 hours Non-Urgent 15 days 15 days
- Wanted Persons
- Sex Offender Registry Subjects
- Known or Suspected Terrorists
Current RISC responses include the Red/Yellow/Green flag, the category of hit, the FBI number, the master name and the response caveats. The RISC Rapid Search supports multi-tiered enrollment and dissemination policies and maintains unique identities for the individuals enrolled in the repository…
Go to on the FBI’s site for much more information.