NEC snags CrimTrac biometrics ID deal

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NEC snags CrimTrac biometrics ID deal

Incumbent Morpho ousted.

Australia's national law enforcement information sharing agency CrimTrac has chosen NEC to take over the operation of biometric identification services from May next year.

CrimTrac operates the national automated fingerprint identification system (NAFIS). It issued an amended tender in 2014 for a refresh of the biometrics database to include facial recognition capability.

The $52 million, five-year contract involves the replacement of the existing NAFIS, which CrimTrac has operated since 1987.

Existing police databases containing 12 million facial images and 6.7 million fingerprint sets will be included in the new system, which is based on a multi-modal solution NEC developed for United States law enforcement. The Northern Territory police force already uses the platform.

The new system will allow for facial recognition through recorded video and images, as well as real-time identification capabilities and support for mobile devices, NEC said. 

NEC will enhance the biometrics database capabilities to include palm and footprint data. Further biometric identification data can be integrated by CrimTrac in the future, the company said.

CrimTrac's NAFIS was originally developed by French defence contractor and consumer electronics giant SAGEM (now Safran) subsidiary Morpho, which deployed the MetaMorpho system in April 2001 [pdf]. 

Morpho's maintenance and support contract for NAFIS was last extended in May 2011, for a six-year period, at a value of $21.8 million. It was amended to $30.4 million in August 2014.

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