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Unmasking the Enemy Through Biometrics. Why Biometrics?. Bombing of Dining Facility in Mosul, Iraq, in Dec 2004. Murder of US Contractors in March 2004 led to 2 major operations for control of Fallujah, Iraq. . What are Biometrics?.

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why biometrics
Why Biometrics?

Bombing of Dining Facility in Mosul, Iraq, in Dec 2004

Murder of US Contractors in March 2004 led to 2 major operations for control of Fallujah, Iraq.

what are biometrics
What are Biometrics?
  • Something intrinsic to you (cannot be shared without complicated surgery)
  • Something that is unique (more or less)
  • Something that cannot be repudiated (beware the dark side)
  • Something that can tie you to places and activities you wish to hide
  • Not 100% accurate nor a panacea
  • Something that is or should be an integral part of any identity management program
biometric modalities
Biometric Modalities
  • Physical Modalities: fingerprint, face, iris, hand geometry, palm print, DNA, voice, retina, vein pattern
  • Behavioral: gait, hand writing/signature,


  • “Soft biometrics”: hair color, sex, age, ethnicity
what is the best modality
What is the Best Modality?
  • Depends on the operational environment, available technology and the mission
  • Each modality is different in terms of universality, uniqueness, permanence, collectability, acceptability, etc.
    • Many are highly effected by factors such as ethnicity, employment, sex, etc
how are biometrics used
How are Biometrics Used?
  • Identification: Who are you (or who you are not)?
    • Typically 1 to many
    • Can also involve re-identification
    • Uses: personnel vetting (access, hiring, training, intel sources), targeting, screening, force protection, human terrain mapping, detention decision making)
  • Verification: Are you who you say you are?
    • Typically 1 to 1 usually against an enrollment sample
    • Often matching against a template held by the claimant (e.g. on a smart card)
    • Uses: access control, population management, detainee/prisoner management, resource management (aid, benefits, etc)
how are biometrics collected
How are Biometrics Collected?
  • Overt/Covert
  • Cooperative/uncooperative
  • Face to face/stand off
  • Data Sharing
  • Forensics
what is a match
What is a Match?

A probability that we have seen you before

  • Score(S) compared to predetermined Threshold value
  • Accuracy determined by quality of database and algorithm(s)
  • Most commonly based upon two sets of the same modality (e.g. fingerprint to fingerprint)
  • Accuracy can be enhanced via fusion of matches from multiple sets of the same modality, multiple modalities, multiple algorithms
  • May require human intervention/analysis (“Yellow Resolves” and latent print matching)
threshold analysis

Threshold setting

FAR and FRR vs. Threshold

multi modal biometric fusion


Multi-Modal Biometric Fusion
  • Multi-modal biometric fusion (currently DoD ABIS only) results in:
  • More matches through the correlation of other modalities
  • More auto-identification, with lower number of manual examinations required
  • Improved overall system accuracy and performance

Prints: Inconclusive

Face: Non-IDENT


Iris: Inconclusive

The fusion algorithm combined

near matches to identify the



what does a match mean
What Does a Match Mean?
  • The same biometric is in our database
    • That’s it--may have value if done for verification purposes only
  • Analysis required to link the biometric to other information (e.g. intelligence, criminal, civil, financial, etc)
  • Not intrinsically good or bad—depends on mission
    • “Good” Match: against an approved access roster
    • “Bad” Match: against a terrorist watchlist
how is a match made
How is a Match Made?
  • Subject is enrolled
  • Biometrics collected (may include biographic, soft biometrics and contextual data)
  • Biometrics stored
  • Subject is Encountered
  • At access point
  • In the field
  • At computer terminal
  • At a crime scene
  • Encounter collection compared to enrollment collection
  • On a card
  • On the collection system (stored enrollments and/or watchlist)
  • Against a centralized database
  • Against remote database(s)
  • Match results are reported
  • Match/No Match
  • Additional guidance may be provided
  • Operational Decision Made
  • Allow/deny access
  • Detain/Arrest
  • Provide/deny resources
the super hit
The “Super Hit”

Name: XXX


HT: 5’ 06”

WT: 133



21 July 2011 – SOCOM Enrollment

• 120 IED Related Latents

• 34 Distinct IED Cases Links

• Two (2) DoD Enrollments

• Two (2) Interagency Enrollments

• One (1) DoD Detainee Enrollment


March 2011: IED related evidence was received

and processed by multiple agencies between

May 2010 and July 2011. The latent prints were

submitted with no significant identifications and

added to the DoD ABIS Unsolved Latent File.

21 July 2011: The subject was encountered and

enrolled by DoD elements due to suspicion of

terrorist activities resulting in multiple unsolved

latent matches confirmed by BIMA’s Biometric

Examination Services Team.

Unsolved Latent Files

Latent Case: ######

Priority Code: Green

dod biometrics successes
DoD Biometrics Successes
  • Put thousands of biometrics kits into the hands of military and contract personnel around the world
  • Built database of over 6 million unique


    • Developed most advanced large-scale

multi-modal/fusion matching system in the world

  • Enabled military operations (e.g. SOF and

CIED), intelligence analysis, access control,

detainee management

  • Shared data across the USG (i.e. the TRIAD)
    • Successfully denied access to US by numerous foreign nationals
  • Shared data with select foreign governments
dod biometrics challenges
DoD Biometrics Challenges
  • Leadership awareness/support
  • Development of a holistic operational concept
    • No DoD or USG integrated IdM vision
    • Uncertain future of biometrics “force structure”
    • Not part of the Joint or Services institutional frameworks
  • “Triad” not fully implemented or automated
  • Policy gaps
  • Keeping pace with technological developments
what do we need
What do We Need?
  • Senior leader education
  • Rapid acquisition (GOTS/COTS) and institutionalization capability
  • Stand-off collection
  • Improved data management (quality, structure)
  • Improved data movement (compression, transmission, architecture)
  • Disassociation of biometrics from all data not required for matching
  • Link identity data across numerous databases and security domains
  • Improved security and privacy (technology and procedures)
  • A USG identity management leadership, strategy and roadmap