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Thread: Biometrics (catch all)

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    Default Biometrics (catch all)

    Gone are the days of conventional uniforms, symbols, and equipment that make the enemy easily identifiable. Now identifying a threat is as difficult as ever. In the digital age, photo IDs, identification cards, and other official documents are becoming less effective. Biometrics has emerged as a growing capability that addresses this issue.

    Biometrics are measurable physical and behavioral characteristics that enable the establishment and/or verification of an individual’s identity. Biometrics can be used to identify friend from foe, verify identity claims, and ensure the right person has the proper access at the right time. Biometric technologies are also improving civilian security both at home and abroad.

    However, several issues still need to be addressed with regard to the use of biometrics. Policies, regulations, and laws have not yet caught up with this capability. They continue to restrict the use of biometrics which keeps this capability from reaching its full potential. Public opinion also plays a part in this discussion. Many view the use of certain biometric devices as an intrusion of personal privacy.

    Also, biometric technology is increasing at a rate faster than doctrine can be revised to fully incorporate biometrics into how we conduct business. We must institutionalize biometrics within DoD. We must further develop formal biometric education and training policies within the biometrics community. At a minimum, we should create a training standard that establishes biometrics as an additional skill identifier. At this point in our military force structure, establishing a biometrics-related MOS may be a bridge too far.

    There are also conflicting opinions on the added capability that biometric devices provide. Some feel that they are simply another piece of equipment to be carried and maintained. Others feel it could be useful but the biometrics enterprise is ineffective. Some simply do not see the rewards of biometric collection efforts and therefore feel biometrics has no worth. However, there are many who are fully supportive of what biometrics brings to the fight. I am very curious to hear opinions on the use of biometrics.

    Biometrics is quickly becoming vital to security efforts. NYPD is proving that by its recent integration of handheld iris scanners to improve security and safeguard identities. Whether we like it or not, I feel that biometrics is here to stay.

    Bear in mind….I am by no means a biometrics expert. However, I am very familiar with the enterprise and its capabilities. I am very interested in hearing other thoughts or concerns.

    Moderator's Note

    This threads title was until today Thoughts on Biometrics as an enduring capability; the posts are wider than that, so it is now Biometrics (catch all).
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-10-2016 at 01:09 PM. Reason: Add Mods Note.

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    Gone are the days of conventional uniforms, symbols, and equipment that make the enemy easily identifiable.
    As we all know this is not new, not even close to being new. The fact that isn't new doesn't distract from the growing importance of bio-metrics, but let's not forget we have methods for identifying the enemy without biometrics which rely heavily on common sense (profiling, intelligence collection, simple questions that lead the suspect to trip over him/herself if they're trying to conceal their true intent, etc.). Biometrics is additive, not mission critical, unless we start confusing warfare with law enforcement, which in my opinion is a dangerous road to go down.

    Also, biometric technology is increasing at a rate faster than doctrine can be revised to fully incorporate biometrics into how we conduct business. We must institutionalize biometrics within DoD. We must further develop formal biometric education and training policies within the biometrics community.
    I hear this a lot of times about our rapidly developing technologies related to biometrics, UAVs, TTL, etc., but personally I find it contradicts itself. First you state the technology is increasing at a rate faster than doctrine can be revised, then you argue we must institutionalize it, which I interpret as locking in stone after it becomes doctrinal. I'm not faulting our objective, but faulting the military's approach to putting everything into our rigid doctrine process (slow is snail snot), when what we really need to do is encourage more innovation and sharing of best practices among users. There is a risk to this also, because ultimately biometrics won't realize its full potential if it isn't standardized (at least the databases). This is a tough problem set and I'm glad you address it here.

    Biometrics is quickly becoming vital to security efforts. NYPD is proving that by its recent integration of handheld iris scanners to improve security and safeguard identities. Whether we like it or not, I feel that biometrics is here to stay.
    I think the correct way to say this is biometrics is growing in importance, but it is far from vital and I hope it never becomes vital, because many of the threats we're facing (unless they're repeat offenders) are not in any database, so while biometrics is incredibly useful and helpful, it is not vital.

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    Technology in and of itself, I believe, is amoral. In that sense I do not wish to demonize biometrics, but the level of control it will enable is unparalleled.

    I fear that whatever biometric technologies or practices we develop for use overseas, will eventually be employed domestically. The combination of trends in our government and economy, with future capabilities in biometrics and other technology scares the hell out of me; I fear for the future of our Republic.

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    Default Not convinced

    The use of biometrics may have an impact and IIRC there was a thread on their lack of value before.

    It appears to be a classic military-industrial-security complex offering a technological option, which is grasped without much real hard thought.

    The USA and other usually rich nations maybe able to use biometrics; will the campaign against the LRA in Uganda be affected by them? No.

    All too often we hear that new solutions offer greater security and years later learn that cheaper options are more effective; in support I'd cite a UK report that better lighting is better for crime prevention than CCTV.

    You cite a few examples of value in your post and point to a NYPD success, could you please add links to those?

    Has any independent review been conducted on the impact of biometrics?

    Human Rights and Ethics have a place too.
    davidbfpo

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    Default Some reading

    In a quick reading of one UK newspaper today I found these articles; on the potential for DNA fraud:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/s...dy-claims.html and for fingerprint evidence after a judge's criticism:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...ior-judge.html

    An the "tip of an iceberg" on the surveillance society in the UK:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...than-ever.html
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Global Scout
    There is a risk to this also, because ultimately biometrics won't realize its full potential if it isn't standardized (at least the databases).
    If you have to go to the database, you've already lost.

    Regardless of how identity is established, gloss over validation and none of it does you any good. Used to be if someone showed up on post, he not only had his papers but could give you the name of someone who could vouch for him. Trust is a weakness, but a web of trust is considerably less weaker than any scheme that attempts to establish bona fides de novo.
    PH Cannady
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    Gone are the days of conventional uniforms, symbols, and equipment that make the enemy easily identifiable. Now identifying a threat is as difficult as ever. In the digital age, photo IDs, identification cards, and other official documents are becoming less effective. Biometrics has emerged as a growing capability that addresses this issue.
    I'm just wondering how those who are apparently writing off biometrics as just another technology toy would propose that we do track adversaries in an environment where the otherguys aren't wearing uniforms, wearing distinctive markings or badges, or doing anything else that make them stand out from the greater 'the people' mass? Adversaries proven quite comfortable and able in taking the fight from the conventional battlefield to the home front...

    Biometrics may not add measurably to our ability to predict and interdict attacks but they certainly do not reduce our ability to track attackers after an event...nature of the beast in this operating environment is that prediction has ceded in a large part to responsiveness...and those think think that such technologies are not here and in use domestically jujst need to come through the international arrivals terminal at LAX...

    To improve the operational use of biometrics...strive towards a common standard for biometric measurements; work towards linked and interoperable biometric databases; get the kit on the streets and start using it.

    The times are a-changing but then they always have been - things have never been static and we don't live now, for better AND worse, than we did ten years ago, twenty years ago, fifty or one hundred years ago...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SJPONeill View Post
    I'm just wondering how those who are apparently writing off biometrics as just another technology toy would propose that we do track adversaries in an environment where the otherguys aren't wearing uniforms, wearing distinctive markings or badges, or doing anything else that make them stand out from the greater 'the people' mass? Adversaries proven quite comfortable and able in taking the fight from the conventional battlefield to the home front...
    The challenge posed by fighting dirty has little bearing on whether biometrics holds promise or none, or encompasses risks in and of itself. Personally, I'm doubtful of technology that left unattended can be defeated by tape recorder, hostage, appropriated body parts or some combination thereof.
    PH Cannady
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJPONeill View Post
    I'm just wondering how those who are apparently writing off biometrics as just another technology toy would propose that we do track adversaries in an environment where the otherguys aren't wearing uniforms, wearing distinctive markings or badges, or doing anything else that make them stand out from the greater 'the people' mass? Adversaries proven quite comfortable and able in taking the fight from the conventional battlefield to the home front...
    I'm not sure I see how biometrics would help differentiate between a Taliban fighter and a villager. Or between a villager and that same villager after he signs up with (or gets shanghaid into) the Taliban.

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    Default panopticon

    Biometrics are a key enabler in the panopticon if you can not conceal your identity then you would be deterred from the dark side it is truly a game changer as it continues to evolve it would allow for greater social control

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    It would help, yeah, but such a system would have to collect, verify, and cross-index biometric data very quickly and very accurately in huge volumes, and remain extremely secure. Those limitations seem pretty daunting to me, though I'm not an expert.

    And if we did manage to create a system with that sort of capability, I'd fight it with guns, bombs, knives, fists, and teeth. Those who give up liberty for security etcetera etcetera.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motorfirebox View Post
    And if we did manage to create a system with that sort of capability, I'd fight it with guns, bombs, knives, fists, and teeth. Those who give up liberty for security etcetera etcetera.
    If...?

    Don't get a passport then...or join any of the services - not just for the US but any of the 5 eyes nations...and certainly don't 'them' record your photo for your drivers' license...

    This technology not only exists but it is here and in daily use...

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    There's a little bit of a difference between my driver's license--or my expired military ID card, for that matter--and the complete lack of anonymity that was described in the post I was responding to.

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    Default A few observations and a 'litmus test'

    One of the issues surrounding biometrics is that there are competing systems on offer, particularly around what is collected for rapid, on point identification. There are those in Europe who argue that retina / iris scans are not suffiecent and that photo / image processing is subverted by women in particular with hair colour changes. Instead we are told that traditional fingerprints are the best method for identification and new IT enables a hand to be swipped across a reader.

    In the UK the use at border of retina scanning, appropriately called IRIS, is being withdrawn by stealth - for example by not maintaining the machinery or by design, not installing at new airport terminals - even when use has been going up.

    It is almost like the competing video systems of yesteryear, BetaMax and VHS. VHS won and was then overtaken by the DVD.

    There are immense problems in the EU with resolving multiple, legal identities; notably around names used and date(s) of birth.

    What does intrigue me is that well known gaps in identity document creation and delivery are not being addressed systematically. It is well known there are problems with passport delivery in certain areas for example.

    As SWC has a mainly US readership, replace passport with driving licence.

    I remain unconvinced that in 'small wars', invariably in less-developed places and Iraq managed to go in reverse, that biometrics and associated IT offer that much - for general population control. For access control and personnel records yes they can be useful.

    My 'litmus test' is will it help defeat the LRA (and the like)?
    davidbfpo

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    Default The problem with Biometrics at War

    An excerpt from a forthcoming book, All the Ways We Kill and Die, by Brian Castner tells the story of the hunt for the bomb-makers of Iraq and Afghanistan:http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the...metrics-at-war

    It ends with a telling point:
    Because thatís the funny thing about using biometrics. The only way to find one person is to find everyone.
    From the author's website:
    This is the story of an American family at war, and the men and women who fight this new technology-heavy and intelligence-based conflict. I interviewed intel analysts, biometrics engineers, drone pilots, special operations aircrew, amputees who lost their legs, and the contractors hired to finish the job. They are all hunting a man known as al-Muhandis, The Engineer, the brains behind the devices that have killed so many soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    davidbfpo

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    From WoTR and from a different angle:http://warontherocks.com/2016/03/tra...-than-answers/

    The author's bio:
    Sarah Soliman led U.S. Special Operations Commandís first Identity Operations team in Afghanistan, as chronicled in the book ďAll the Ways We Kill and Die.Ē She is an Emerging Technology Trends Project Associate at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation and is pursuing her doctorate through Kingís College Londonís Department of War Studies. She can be reached @BiometricsNerd.
    davidbfpo

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    Default The security of Biometrics

    A short article from Wired, with many links:http://www.wired.com/2016/03/biometr...rity-concerns/
    davidbfpo

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