Interpol makes first border arrest using Biometric Hub to ID suspect

Interpol makes first border arrest using Biometric Hub to ID suspect

December 1, 2023 at 02:29AM

For the first time, European police utilized Interpol’s Biometric Hub, using Idemia technology, to remotely identify and arrest a suspected smuggler with false ID in Sarajevo. The tool, which combines fingerprint and facial recognition databases, will later expand to border controls and perform up to one million searches a day, respecting data protection frameworks.

Clear Takeaways from Meeting Notes:

1. First Arrest Made Using Interpol’s BioHub: European police successfully employed Interpol’s Biometric Hub for the first time to arrest a fugitive suspected smuggler, who had provided fake identification during a police check in Sarajevo.

2. Identification Technology from Idemia: The BioHub, utilizing biometric data technology from French vendor Idemia, matched the smuggler’s photo against Interpol’s global fingerprint and facial recognition databases, leading to the arrest.

3. BioHub Availability and Implementation: The Biometric Hub, operational since October, is now accessible to law enforcement across all 196 Interpol member countries. It is still in its first phase, focusing on identifying persons of interest for police investigations.

4. Real-time Identity Checks: Law enforcement officers in Interpol member states can send biometric data to the BioHub from the field to instantly determine if a person poses a security risk.

5. Interpol’s Partnership with Idemia: Interpol has a long-standing partnership with Idemia, starting with the development of the Automated Fingerprint Identification System in 1999 and later incorporating facial recognition technology in 2016.

6. MBIS 5 Technology: Idemia’s latest technology, MBIS 5, is credited with delivering improved matching accuracy, faster response times, and a more user-friendly interface.

7. Second Phase of BioHub Deployment: The system is set to expand to border control points within two years, where it will be capable of conducting up to one million forensic searches per day, including fingerprints, palm prints, and portraits.

8. Efficiency in Biometric Checks: The BioHub system speeds up the process by allowing data submission to multiple biometric databases through one interface, reducing the need for human review unless the matching quality is below a certain threshold.

9. Data Privacy and Governance: Interpol asserts that the BioHub complies with its data protection framework. Data that do not match during searches are stated to be deleted after the search, and no biometric data are added to criminal databases nor made visible to other users.

10. Concerns and Future Use: Although no specific data privacy and security concerns have been reported, there is an anticipation of potential misuse of the BioHub. Additionally, America’s TSA is planning to expand the use of Idemia’s facial recognition technology at US airports. This plan has already faced opposition over privacy and civil rights issues.

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