recommended reading

The Fingerprint Scanner You Don't Want on Your Smartphone

Johan Swanepoel/

The FBI plans to offer agents smartphone apps for taking a suspect's fingerprints on the streets and has obtained permission to test the technology on Android-based devices.

This is not your typical iTouch or Google Play game. Contracting documents hint that the the tool might use other biometrics -- such as facial recognition -- to identify offenders. 

"The FBI intends to offer its users the ability to perform a biometric query on an individual and receive a response by submitting, at a minimum, fingerprints via a smart phone application from any domestic location with cellular service," states an industry survey

In January, the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division, which maintains criminal records databases, received the green light to proceed with a year-long project that will winnow down technical specifications, according to the documents. 

"The objective of this project is to evaluate current software application solutions commercially available for biometric capture on cellular devices compatible with the Android Platform," bureau officials said.  

The documents, released on Tuesday, do not state when the project will start. App developers have until May 28 to respond to the survey, which asks basic questions about security concerns and product benefits.

Each vendor picked for the project is expected to receive $500,000 for their efforts. 

There is no word on where the project will be fielded.

(Image via Johan Swanepoel/

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.