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Privacy Impact Assessment for the Automated Biometric Identification System

Privacy Impact Assessment for the Automated Biometric Identification System published on

Authored by Department of Homeland Security

The legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) developed IDENT in 1994 as a law enforcement system for collecting and processing biometrics. In 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) Program as the first large-scale biometric identification program to support immigration and border management. IDENT has evolved over the years into the central DHS-wide system for the storage and processing of biometric data. IDENT stores and processes biometric data-digital fingerprints, photographs, iris scans, and facial images-and links biometrics with biographic information to establish and verify identities. IDENT serves as a biographic and biometric repository for the Department. As a data steward, US-VISIT provides a service to its data providers and data users. US-VISIT identifies each collection by data provider and its authority to use, retain, and share it. IDENT enables sharing with authorized users after the data provider has approved the sharing. The process of retaining data provided to IDENT is referred to as enrollment. Each time an individual’s biometrics are enrolled in IDENT, it is an encounter. Adding encounters to an already existing identity is referred to as an assignment. With each encounter, IDENT: Checks a person’s biometrics against the IDENT watch list of known or suspected terrorists(KST), criminals, and immigration violators; Checks a person’s biometrics against the entire database of fingerprints to help determine if a person is using an alias and/or attempting to use fraudulent identification; and Checks a person’s biometrics against those associated with the identification document presented to help ensure that the document belongs to the person presenting it and not someone else.

Publication Date:
Jan 05 2015
1505988748 / 9781505988741
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
Political Science / Political Freedom & Security / International Secur


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