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DHS to Move Biometric Data on Hundreds of Millions of People to Amazon Cloud

The department seeks a new platform to identify people using fingerprints, irises and faces, and eventually DNA, palm prints, scars and tattoos. 

The Homeland Security Department is looking to upgrade the software it uses to analyze biometric data on hundreds of millions of people around the globe, and it plans to store that information in Amazon’s cloud.

The agency’s Office of Biometric Identity Management will replace its legacy biometric analysis platform, called the Automated Biometric Identification System, or IDENT, with a new, more robust system hosted by Amazon Web Services, according to a request for information released Monday.

IDENT essentially serves as an enterprise-wide clearinghouse for troves of biometric and biographic data collected by the Transportation Security Administration, Customs and Border Protection, Secret Service and other Homeland Security components. The system links fingerprint, iris and face data to biographic information, allowing officials to quickly identify suspected terrorists, immigration violators, criminals and anyone else included in their databases.

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