FBI to build $1Bn biometrics database

The FBI is expected to announce this week the awarding of a $1 billion, 10-year contract to develop the largest and most comprehensive government biometrics database in history — with information on the palm prints, eye scans, tattoos, and other identifying physical data of citizens and those who pass through.

First up (…) are palm prints [said Thomas Bush, the FBI official in charge of the Clarksburg, West Virginia, facility where the FBI houses its current fingerprint database.] The FBI has already begun collecting images and hopes to soon use these as an additional means of making identifications. Countries that are already using such images find 20 percent of their positive matches come from latent palm prints left at crime scenes, the FBI's Bush said.

The FBI has also started collecting mug shots and pictures of scars and tattoos. These images are being stored for now as the technology is fine-tuned. All of the FBI's biometric data is stored on computers 30-feet underground in the Clarksburg facility.

In addition, the FBI could soon start comparing people's eyes — specifically the iris, or the colored part of an eye — as part of its new biometrics program called Next Generation Identification.