USA - DHS to Store Biometrics in Amazon Cloud

Arno Froese

The Homeland Security Department is looking to upgrade the software it uses to analyze biometric data on hundreds of millions of people around the globe, and it plans to store that information in Amazon’s cloud.

According to the solicitation, Homeland Security is in the process of replacing IDENT with the Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology System, or HART. The new system will include the same biometric recognition features as its predecessor, and potentially additional tools that could identify individuals based on DNA, palm prints, scars, physical markings and tattoos.

Whereas IDENT stores records in government-run data centers, the Homeland Security solicitation states “HART will reside in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) FedRAMP certified GovCloud.” Further, “biometric matching capabilities for fingerprint, iris, and facial matching will be integrated with HART in the Amazon Web Services GovCloud.” Amazon Web Services will also store HART’s biometric image data.

According to the solicitation, the agency shares biometric data and technology with the Defense Department and the FBI, which can access some 640 million photos for its own facial recognition operations. Officials also said they can tap into the State Department’s Consular Consolidated Database—which contained nearly 500 million passport, visa and expat records as of 2016—as well as the databases of “several foreign governments as well as state, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement agencies.”, 19 June 2019

Arno's commentary

While there is opposition from various lawmakers and other groups, this is called progress and, in the end, nothing can stand in the way. If we only knew the amount of personal data gathered by the government and private companies, we would be alarmed. But this process is not immediately and obviously recognized by individuals. The numbers are quite impressive: “…some 640 million photos for its own facial recognition operations.” That’s a good start, but it must continue ten-fold so every person on planet earth is identified.

The positive side is that criminals and lately terrorists can be identified more quickly and accurately. On the other hand, governments and multinational corporations can manipulate data to their own advantage, without the individual having any knowledge of it.

With each new implementation of digital technology, we are coming closer to the ultimate: the mark of the beast.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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