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Florida cops to upgrade biometric tech for potential future facial recognition

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Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement wants about $20 million through 2025 to replace and expand the existing Biometric Identification System. The new system, which will use French identity technology firm IDEMIA’s Multi-biometric Identification System (MBIS), is capable of using other biometrics including iris scans and facial recognition.

According to Lucy Saunders, the head of the Crime Information Bureau, the new system will be faster and more capable than the existing system, which has been used since 2009.

Like the old system, the new system would still forward data to the FBI for background checks.

“The facial recognition portion of this — we’ve included that modality of capability in the system,” said Joey Hornsby, Director of Information Technology Services for FDLE to Florida Politics.

“We’re not moving forward with doing facial recognition in the system. We’ve just included it as a futureproofing so (we have it) in the eventuality that we want to do that long term.”

Just in case.

Saunders said the project would take two to 30 months “in a phased approach.” It would cost $8.6 million in 2023, $11.7 million from 2024 to 2025, and $10 million in maintenance and support every year after 2025.

Hornsby said that because the new system would be cloud-based it can receive updates on a regular basis, and, as such, remain “evergreen.”

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