FindBiometrics didn’t find THIS biometric

On Monday, FindBiometrics posted its annual “year in review” survey of biometrics professionals, asking a number of questions.

FindBiometrics asked about face and finger, the most commonly used biometric modalities. But there were also questions that touched upon voice biometrics, behavioral biometrics, and several other biometric modalities.

You could echo the late Ed McMahon and say that FindBiometrics covered EVERY meaningful biometric modality in its 2021 year in review survey.

Allow me to play the Johnny Carson role and say that Ed was WRONG.

By Johnny_Carson_with_fan.jpg: Peter Martorano from Cleveland, Ohio, USAderivative work: TheCuriousGnome (talk) – Johnny_Carson_with_fan.jpg, CC BY 2.0,

Or let me play the role of Steve Jobs and say that there’s ONE MORE THING.

By mylerdude – Flickr, CC BY 2.0,

So, what did FindBiometrics miss in its year in review? Only the “one more thing” that will revolutionize law enforcement forever.

Two announcements that changed law enforcement booking (in some states, anyway)

By Mauroesguerroto – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

I’ve written about rapid DNA before (for example, after the Surfside building collapse). Rapid DNA is a process that automatically generates a DNA profile in less than two hours, as opposed to more manual-intensive procedures that could take much longer, especially when huge backlogs result in many months’ wait before DNA can be processed.

Rapid DNA cannot be used for every DNA application (commingled DNA is “an extremely critical challenge” and very difficult to process automatically), but there’s one instance in which DNA can technically be used, and that’s in the arrest/booking process.

By U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Department of Homeland Security) –, Public Domain,

What if, at the same time that an arrested person provides the state with his or her fingerprints, the person also provides a DNA sample?

Then, at the same time that the fingerprints are searched against local, statewide, and national databases to verify the person’s identity and (via “reverse searches”) see if the person is responsible for additional crimes, the DNA can also be searched against various databases.

However, even in states that authorized DNA collection for some arrests, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation wouldn’t allow rapid DNA profiles collected in a booking environment (as opposed to a crime laboratory) to be searched against its database.

Until February 2021.

Effective February 1, 2021, ANDE received approval from the FBI for its technology to be deployed in booking stations to support processing of DNA samples from qualifying arrestees and the automatic upload and searching of these DNA IDs against the National DNA Index System (NDIS). 

ANDE (formerly NetBio) is one of two manufacturers of rapid DNA systems. The other manufacturer, Thermo Fisher Scientific (formerly the independent company IntegenX), followed with its own announcement in July.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has approved Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Applied Biosystems RapidHIT ID DNA Booking System for use by law enforcement booking stations to automatically process, upload and search DNA reference samples from qualifying arrestees against the U.S. National DNA Index System (NDIS) CODIS database.

This means that today’s multimodal booking environments, which already support capture of friction ridges (fingerprints and palmprints), faces, and occasionally irises, can now also capture DNA.

Now I’ll grant that the continued expansion of mobile driver’s licenses to more states, as well as the final approval of the ISO/IEC 18013-5 standard, will have a greater impact on society at large. After all, the number of people with driver’s licenses is much larger than the number of people who get arrested. (Currently.)

But quadmodal booking biometrics deserves a mention. If we’re going to talk about quadmodal learning, let’s talk about quadmodal biometrics (finger, face, iris, DNA) also.

Maybe FindBiometrics will devote more time to DNA in its 2022 year in review.

OK, two MORE things

By the way, if you want more information about when the FBI authorizes rapid DNA and when it does not, as well as the standards that apply, check this page.

The FBI did not have anything to do with this video, which is tangential to the topic at hand, but I’m sharing it because Bob Mothersbaugh not only has a tasty guitar solo, but also a prominent singing part.

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