How One Company is Changing the Biometric Market

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One of the biggest issues with federal identity management has been focused on the technology known as the Common Access Card, which is used at the Defense Department to help identify the employees.

Many employees and critics ave spoken up to attempt to change and modernize these cards, with dissatisfaction reaching new highs. Paul Grassi, a senior standards and technology adviser at the National Institute of Standards and Technology put out a confirmation of a longtime rumor.

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Grassi stated in a memo that “hopefully we will see in the identity realm something in the January time frame what the future direction is. The IT Modernization Strategy tasks OMB 45 days after to release an identity management policy. That’s coning. It will be out for public comment.”

Going beyond what the potential changes are for the policy, the DoD is working on biometric technology that will help reorganize the current identity management systems, with the next generation of authentication on the way. “What we have been seeing lately is these new joint emerging requirements,” Graves said during an AFCEA Bethesda breakfast panel on Dec. 13. “When we talk about voice, we actually are going to deploy voice to the theater next year. We have a project that has rapid DNA.

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We are working with the University of Virginia to create a rapid DNA device that’s actually built on a CD. It’s a 10-pound device. It’s not packable in a ruck yet. But it’s going to be very cheap. The device is going to be less than $10,000. The current device right now is about $225,000. We are going to deploy that in the Central Command region next year.”

The hopes are high that this new biometric system will help to change the way employees are identified for some time to come.


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