Police Share Digital Mugshots In Post-Sept. 11 Embrace Of Biometrics
Police forces in Canada have started electronically sharing mugshots as part of an effort that could eventually result in a national database of crime suspect photos. Three police services in Ontario converted their mugshot files into digital images for the pilot project, then combined their resources to establish a searchable Internet library of 118,000 pictures.
Police utilize the computerized tool to rapidly compare images of individuals they have arrested with the virtual library housing photos from old mugshot books, video surveillance tapes, and composite drawings.
Participants think the best police uses for the technology are confirming the identity of suspects before booking; identification of faces captured on video surveillance; and the putting together of suspect databases. The effort could help meet a long-term federal objective of making certain that all Canadian police services can obtain and transmit digital fingerprint images, mugshots, and biographical data.
Other biometrics initiatives now in the works in Canada include a proposal that would mandate essentially all newcomers to that country to be fingerprinted and photographed; an electronic passport with the holder’s picture and biographical data on a computer chip; and electronic comparison of passport applicants’ photos against images of individuals on security watch lists.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Canadian Press (09/09/04); Bronskill, Jim.