Mollie Halpern: The FBI is collaborating with private industry, academia, and other government agencies to research and develop ways to better identify tattoos.
One in five people in the United States wears ink, so using biometric modalities, such as tattoos, can help law enforcement identify criminals and victims.
Tattoos are currently categorized and searched for in law enforcement databases using keywords, which Nicky Megna, the unit chief of the FBI’s Biometric Center of Excellence, describes as…
Nicky Megna: …a very subjective and cumbersome process that takes time.
Halpern: The FBI is holding a challenge where vendors would enhance text-based with image-based search technology.
Megna: …where they would compete their algorithms, and then we can gain insight on things like accuracy, scalability, and the ability to meet the needs of the law enforcement community.
Halpern: The hope is that the results of the information sharing between the government and private industry will provide law enforcement with a more efficient, effective, and accurate tool to solve crime and help victims through tattoos. For more information on the FBI’s use of other biometrics, visit www.fbi.gov. I'm Mollie Halpern of the Bureau, with FBI, This Week.