Biometric Hub

Enabling police to check facial images and fingerprints against INTERPOL’s databases

The Biometric Hub is a state-of-the-art system for identifying criminals.  Its user-friendly interface enables law enforcement in member countries to upload fingerprints and facial recognition images while a powerful image comparison software compares them to data stored in INTERPOL’s biometric databases for potential matches.

Underpinning the Biometric Hub is a ‘biometric core’ that encompasses INTERPOL’s existing fingerprint and facial recognition databases together with a matching system based on technology developed by the company IDEMIA.

Launched in October 2023, the Biometric Hub will be progressively rolled out over two years to border points and frontline officers across INTERPOL’s member countries. The system is expected to perform up to 1 million forensic searches per day, including fingerprints, palm prints and portraits.

As well as being an effective tool for screening individuals crossing a border, the Biometric Hub can also be used for regular police operations within a country to see if a person being checked poses a security threat. This is especially important in situations where travel documents are not available.

“A fugitive can change their name and many aspects of their appearance to try and escape justice, but it is almost impossible to change your biometric data. This is why biometrics remain the most reliable way to identify someone.“ Cyril Gout, INTERPOL’s Director of Operational Support and Analysis

In line with INTERPOL’s data protection framework, biometric data run through the Biometric Hub in a search is not added to INTERPOL’s criminal databases, is not visible to other users and is deleted following the search.

Early success

An INTERPOL operation shortly after launch of the new hub led to the arrest of a fugitive migrant smuggler. Although he was carrying a false passport at a national police check in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, when his photo was submitted to the Biometric Hub it matched a person wanted in another country for people smuggling and organized crime.