A senate subcommittee recently approved a request for more than $47 billion by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to update its biometric systems. The project will take place during the 2015 fiscal year.
According to Senator Barbara Mikulski, chairwoman of the appropriations committee, a significant portion of the $47 MM is earmarked for increasing the DHS’s efforts to identify the people who pass through the country using high-tech biometrics.
The updates of the DHS’s biometrics system will not only enable them to gather the relevant information but also to ensure that the data can be easily shared among the various federal agencies.
The official statement reads in part, “This funding helps assure national security, public safety and the integrity of our immigration laws. By sharing real-time biometric and identity data between the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Defense and State, we can monitor who legally enters and exits the country.”
The biometric data collected by the OBIM (Office of Biometric Identity Management) is linked to specific biographical data in order to establish and verify people’s identities.
When a citizen abroad requests a visa or other benefit through the service in the U.S., OBIM verifies the biometrics of the person against a watchlist of known or suspected terrorists, criminals, and immigration offenders.
However, it is necessary to optimize the system, particularly when it comes to vulnerabilities that could alter its efficiency.