Gotcha! FBI Launches New Biometric Systems to Nail Criminals

Palm prints, iris images and mug shots join fingerprints in the FBI's database, helping to identify the bad guys.

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The state of Michigan has had its own rap back system in place since 2006. While the state wants to know if a trusted person commits crimes outside of the state, it also wants to keep details about that citizen other than their fingerprints private, since they're not criminals. "The FBI's system will just track that 'John Smith' has a criminal record in three states and points to the state computers for users who want more details. We track that John Smith works in adult foster care, substitute teaches in two schools and is a volunteer soccer coach," says Peitro Seifero, manager of the criminal history unit with Michigan's Criminal Justice Information Center.

The system has been very successful: In 2012, the state of Michigan had 61,897 rap back notifications on 20,474 people. A rap back notification triggers from an arrest, a conviction or an update to a conviction.

It's a criminal database, so to get in there the person must have been arrested and charged with a crime at some point. "But adding federal coverage will provide more comprehensive coverage," Seifero says. Also, Seifero says, "some of those are repeat customers who were arrested several times or have rap back subscriptions with multiple employers."


This article, Gotcha! FBI launches new biometric systems to nail criminals, was originally published at

Robert L. Mitchell is a national correspondent for Computerworld. Follow him on Twitter at Twitter, or email him at

This story, "Gotcha! FBI Launches New Biometric Systems to Nail Criminals" was originally published by Computerworld.


Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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