Lawmakers in the US state of Florida are considering upgrading the state police’s biometric ID system. It’s reportedly 14 years old, oversized, and can only handle fingerprints.
Law enforcement is said to have demanded $20 million over the next two years to migrate to new biometric software, and $10 million annually for service and maintenance.
Government officials are asking lawmakers to pay for MBIS Cloud, a cloud-based software from identity security firm Idemia, according to news outlet Florida Politics. The system’s database will be replaced with Microsoft database software.
Existing ID systems can analyze and store fingerprints and palm prints and share them with the FBI for comparison against federal agencies’ own next-generation ID biometric systems. However, the state’s software can no longer be upgraded, according to proponents of the purchase.
The application could support facial recognition, but states won’t use that feature, said Joey Hornsby, the state police’s IT service chief. It’s just an option for the future.
This switchover takes a surprisingly long time, from 2 years to 30 months. Integration can be difficult. State Police use HID Global mobile biometric ID hardware and software.
Last year, the state legislature allocated $4 million for preparatory work, according to Florida Politics. He needs another $8 million this year and $11.7 million for the 2024-2025 fiscal year.
Even newer systems are difficult to migrate beyond fingerprints. A significant portion of the population finds almost any form of facial recognition unwelcome. There are workarounds where legal hurdles prevent widespread use, but public opinion is clearly not on the side of law enforcement.
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