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FBI Biometric Center of Excellence Releases Technology Assessment

Washington, D.C. January 13, 2009
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

Today the FBI Biometric Center of Excellence (BCOE) released the State-of-the-Art Biometrics Excellence Roadmap (SABER) Technology Assessment, an independent study developed by The MITRE Corporation. The SABER Technology Assessment gauges the maturity of biometric modalities to develop a common baseline understanding for the biometric community and evaluates the potential for expanding the FBI’s Certified Products List as these modalities mature. This 10-month review involved an extensive survey of biometric technologies, current products, and systems; independent performance evaluations; an overview of select research activities; and an assessment of the robustness of current applications and the market as a whole.

“When the BCOE funded the SABER Technology Assessment, we recognized its tremendous potential not only in helping to strategically prioritize the FBI’s biometric research and funding activities, but also to promote the use of biometric technology for the benefit of our government, academic, and industry partners through a comprehensive analysis of current biometric capabilities,” said Assistant Director, Thomas E. Bush, III, FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

The study benefited from the input of senior FBI officials and external consultants, as well as visits to representative federal, state, and local booking environments; a state detention facility; and additional locations where surveillance systems are used for security and gaming. These site visits provided valuable perspectives on the constraints and challenges that must be considered for the advancement of biometrics to meet law enforcement and counterterrorism missions. The resulting assessment provides the law enforcement and government biometrics community with a thorough report on the current state of biometric modalities.

“The SABER study provides an excellent baseline for the various biometric modalities that will stimulate integration activities as well as technology and data standards across the biometric community,” said MITRE Vice President Gary J. Gagnon. “The BCOE, working in conjunction with the private sector, academia, and other biometric centers within government, can advance the use of biometric technology in support of our national security mission.”

The SABER Technology Assessment is available online at www.BiometricCoE.gov, where the BCOE welcomes comments and questions regarding the report.

The BCOE, headquartered in Clarksburg, West Virginia, is the FBI’s focal point to foster collaboration, improve information sharing, and advance the adoption of optimal biometric and identity management solutions across the law enforcement and national security communities. This program is strengthening criminal investigations and enhancing national security, while ensuring compliance with privacy laws, policies, and procedures. The BCOE’s approach is built upon the best practices of the FBI’s extensive experience leading biometric use. It ensures that the FBI remains at the forefront of biometrics technology and maintains its lead role in biometric identification.