The Defense Department is set to launch two large-scale tests on whether biometrics can control who leaves and enters military facilities, Federal News Radio reports.
The military has put its Common Access Cards with biometrics to limited use so far but Brian Hunt, the Army’s Biometrics Identity Management Agency chief of the future applications, indicated at a FOSE conference Thursday that is about to change.
Hunt said the Pentagon Force Protection Agency has developed a system at the Alexandia,Va.-based Mark Center that is active yet, but will apply CAC cards and either an index finger or iris scan to monitor the workforce.
The military uses fingerprints, iris scans and facial recognition technology to find terrorists overseas.
The Pentagon is expected to implement a physical access control system that is similar to the Mark Center’s.
That systm is set to go live in about a year to monitor the 25,000 people coming and going each day, Hunt said.
The Army also uses a biometric system in Iraq and Afghanistan, where soldiers access FBI databases via handheld devices to determine if someone they come across could potentially be a terrorist, the report said.
Tom Killion, the director of the Army’s Biometrics Identification Management Agency, said the Army can accommodate 15,000 to 17,000 transactions a day.
Killion said the Army and FBI currently share data manually but will move to an automated system by the end of the year with the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Visit program.
Accenture is under a $71 million contract to support the DHS program.
The Pentagon is also working with Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Lincoln Labs to develop algorithms capable of recognizing vocal patterns, according to Alexander Lazarevich, Pentagon biometrics program manager.
Lazarevich said the Armed Forces DNA Identification lab is also running a pilot program that correlates identities through data and could potentially use artificial intelligence to speed the process.
The Pentagon is also considering how biometrics could be applied to the healthcare community within the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Pentagon recently issued a request for information for best practices from academia, industry and agencies for name-based checks, PKI-enabled check, biometrics and token identity systems.
Hunt said the Pentagon is running these programs to identify their costs and benefits and how the technology can best be applied and sustained to aid the government’s mission amidst budget reductions.
A department study of the programs will finish by this fiscal year’s end, Hunt said.