The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reportedly offered access to the department’s vast biometric databanks to any foreign state that would agree to reciprocate.
According to a July 22 Statewatch report, DHS is “sales pitching” the enhanced border security agreements to potential foreign partners. As per the document titled, “DHS International Biometric Information Sharing (IBIS) Program,” the program provides “a scalable, reliable and rapid bilateral biometric and biographic information sharing capability to support border security and immigration vetting.”
Biometric technologies generally refer to the use of technology to identify a person based on some aspect of their biology. Fingerprint recognition is one of the first and original biometric technologies that have been grouped loosely under digital forensics.
The DHS stated that these physical (such as a fingerprint or iris pattern) or behavioral traits (such as voice patterns) are used for the automated recognition of individuals.
Human rights and civil liberties advocates raised concerns about the collection of people’s biometric information by the DHS and possibly sharing these with foreign governments and corporations. This is a clear violation of privacy, critics say.