The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) has heightened the need for Department of Defense (DoD) organizations to identify “friend or foe.” Identity assurance is vital to protecting our facilities, our information networks and, most importantly, our personnel. In this article, John D. Woodward, Jr., the former Director of the DoD Biometrics Management Office (BMO) from 2003 to 2005, provides an overview of where DoD is today in building better biometric capabilities. He offers an historical perspective of biometrics, explains the role biometric technologies play as a data acquisition technology, and discusses examples of how currently available biometric technologies may or may not meet national security requirements. Moreover, he suggests an operational framework for examining how DoD can best deploy biometric technologies. He concludes by emphasizing how important the use of biometrics is to help protect the integrity of U.S. Government information, personnel, and installations around the world. Mr. Woodward presented the concepts within this article to the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation (WVHTC) Foundation in 2004. It is included as a RAND reprint because its analysis is relevant to RAND’s work for the U.S. Army.
Reprinted with permission from West Virginia High Technology Consortium Journal of Innovation, Spring/Summer 2004, pp. 20-23. Copyright © 2004 WVHTC Foundation.