DOD reveals biometrics plan

By 2010, the Defense Department will use biometrics in its classified and unclassified systems to improve physical and cyber security, according to a memorandum released last week by DOD's Biometrics Management Office.

DOD might require that military, civilian and contractor personnel provide biometric identifiers, such fingerprints and iris scans, to enter buildings or gain access to data.

"This is an important step toward establishing a single biometric system across the DOD enterprise," said Linda Dean, director of the BMO.

"The technologies have the potential to provide deep and multilayered protection, especially in combination with traditional security tools and methods like firewalls, smart cards and public-key infrastructure," she said.

And standardization is "the only way to ensure that the components are interoperable, the systems are integrated and the processes are consistent," Dean added.

The Aug. 25 memo, signed by deputy secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, urges BMO to develop a scalable biometrics component of the Global Information Grid, the department's worldwide information infrastructure. It also called for development of standards, interoperability tools, testing frameworks, and product validations to help Defense agencies use biometric technology.

Wolfowitz said the provisions of the memo would be incorporated into a biometrics technologies directive and implementation instructions.

Dawn S. Onley writes for Government Computer News


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