Navy Calls on Biometrics Industry for Ideas


Navy Chief Information Officer David Wennegren has asked the biometrics industry to help the Defense Department understand and proliferate valuable information regarding the use of biometrics technologies for its identity management program. The Defense Department is developing its identity management initiative through three types of technology, including biometrics, public key infrastructure, and common-access cards.

This program will provide both physical and cyber credentials for those who work for or are associated with the Defense Department.

Department officials are considering biometrics as a way to improve smart cards. They are the program’s main tool for controlling access to both cyber and physically secure communities. For example, each card has a digital signature applied to it for department managers to access specific Web-based programs.

Wennegren spoke of various aspects of the identity management program during a biometrics consortium held recently in Arlington, Va. The program will include projects to improve personal and role-based credentials, support of high volumes of transactions, smooth interoperability between coalition partners, allies, and other federal agencies, and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 – a policy change issued in August that calls for the development of a common identification standard for federal employees and contractors.

Wennegren told consortium attendees that the biggest challenge will be overcoming the resistance to changing technologies, especially the use of biometrics, and encouraged members of industry to contact him with ideas regarding how the Defense Department can incorporate biometrics technologies into this program.

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