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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

FBI seeks new system for managing fingerprint images

The FBI wants to improve the system that manages latent fingerprint images and the data and processes around those images.

The database goes by the acronym "FRED," short for Friction Ridge Evidence Database. It is used by the Latent Print Support Unit within the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia; and the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center Lab in Huntsville, Alabama.

Each location currently uses different commercial software to manage digital images of friction ridges found on fingerprints, according to a new request for information.

Agency officials want the new system to enhance examiner productivity by simplifying data collection, integrate data from multiple sources, and organize case information to improve decision making.

The FBI Lab typically has hundreds of active cases, which can have thousands of items of evidence and digital images. There often are multiple suspects and victims.

Critical factors include performance and scalability, the FBI said. Multiple users may access the same case at the same time. The FBI also wants query results in 30 seconds.

One current issue is that examiners used multiple systems to do their job and often have ad hoc solutions to bridge gaps between the systems. They also frequently re-enter the same data into each system. In some cases, examiners enter information into Microsoft Excel worksheets.

“Unfortunately, the current systems have resulted in different operating systems, various tools, and different procedures for managing images and case documentation, which has added complexity in interfacing with case-working systems,” the FBI wrote.

Comments on the RFI are due Oct. 21.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Sep 19, 2019 at 12:56 PM

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