i3 First to Submit Type 14 Fingerprint Live Scans to FBI

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Identification International, Inc. (i3), a leading developer of cutting-edge biometric technology, has become the first supplier of live scan fingerprinting systems to successfully submit the new Type 14 Identification Flats fingerprint records to the FBI's identification system through the American Bankers Association's Fingerprint Record Clearinghouse.

Identification International, Inc. (i3), a leading developer of cutting-edge biometric technology, has become the first supplier of live scan fingerprinting systems to successfully submit the newly implemented Type 14 Identification Flats fingerprint record to the FBI Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) through the American Bankers Association's Fingerprint Record Clearinghouse. The i3 system, which uses a digID™LE lightweight dual-purpose scanner, is the first production system available for delivery worldwide capable of capturing both NIST Type 14 Identification Flats fingerprint records for employee background checks and NIST Type 4 fingerprint records for all fingerprint record transactions, using technology which is both easy to use and less costly to purchase.

“We’re pleased to offer this easier-to-use format for our clients,” says Tom Judd, Associate Director, Technical Services for the ABA, noting that currently the association processes approximately 20,000 records per month. “As more of our clients upgrade their equipment to Type 14 ID flats, we want to be ready to provide that service. This is an important first step.”

Judd explains that the ABA has been offering Fingerprint Services to financial institutions for 25 years. Initially, all records came to the ABA as inked cards, but four years ago, it went digital: scanning inked cards to convert them to digital information before forwarding to the FBI. "At that time, the ABA added the capability to receive fingerprint records electronically. Many users have switched from ink to live scan fingerprint capture and are now realizing a significant reduction in time between submitting their fingerprint records and receiving criminal history information back from the FBI. This time has dropped from six to eight weeks to about seven days,” says Judd.

Lightweight and portable, the i3 device captures FBI certified forensic quality fingerprints on an approximately three-inch square digital scanning bed, sending the data online via a laptop computer. And since it’s powered by the laptop via a USB2 connection, the system can be quickly deployed wherever it’s needed—no AC power required.

Recently, one of the largest credit union systems in Massachusetts installed the device because of its ease of use and capability to capture both Type 4 and Type 14 records. This technology is especially important to protect the banking industry from potential employees whose distant felonies may not show up on checks using public access materials.

Although banking enterprises are not required by law to fingerprint for background checks, they are required to perform due diligence to ensure they are not hiring a person who has been found guilty of a dishonest act. The use of fingerprint records checked against FBI’s IAFIS has always been accepted as the most reliable and all encompassing solution for performing such checks. In the past, however, the use of inked and printed cards was tedious, messy, and typically took weeks for results. The conversion over time to digitized fingerprinting, coupled with electronic submission, has reduced this time to a few days at most.

With systems such as the i3 digID™LE, hiring can now be done after a background check has been completed, reducing exposure of the bank to criminal activity, and substantially reducing human resource costs. According to HR Magazine, the average soft dollar cost to the bank to terminate an hourly employee, such as a teller, is $25K, and for a salaried employee the cost is roughly the equivalent to a year’s pay. Since persons who fail a national criminal background check must be summarily terminated immediately, it makes financial sense to become as aggressive as possible in due diligence efforts.

NIST Type 14—the Emerging Standard in Fingerprinting Technology

One of the major advantages of the i3 digID™LE system is its capability to deliver NIST Type 14 records, which is fast becoming the emerging standard in digital fingerprint technology for civil background checks..

“NIST Type 14 records will soon become the accepted standard and offers many advantages over Type 4 records,” says Rick Fenrich, president and CEO of i3. “Not only does it require less expertise of the operator—basically, anyone can capture picture-perfect Type 14 Identification Flats following a short training session —and the faster capture time results in a considerable cost benefit in high volume environments.

Fenrich says that the Federal government’s Personal Identification Verification (PIV) program and other procurement efforts by the Dept of Homeland Defense and others is setting the standard in the types of records to be accepted for criminal history checks/ID verification.

“In 2003, the FBI utilized the Ohio Web Check program to begin testing a new civil fingerprint record to be used for background checks,” explains Fenrich. “The goal for this FBI pilot was to create a fingerprint capture process that would result in cost savings from start to finish including the cost of live scan systems and the on-going costs of staffing capture sites.” After more than two years of testing with multiple state and Federal agencies, the NIST Type 14 fingerprint record was accepted and is already being utilized by both the State of Ohio and the State of Virginia for civilian applicant background checks. Federal programs under the Department of Homeland Security and other Federal agencies will soon utilize this new fingerprint record type.

Both the classic Type 4 and the newly-implemented Type 14 fingerprint records allows the submission of fingerprints to the FBI's IAFIS for identity verification and the search of criminal history information against a national database, explains Fenrich. The Type 4 record requires both slap prints to be captured and each finger to be rolled for a complete nail-to-nail fingerprint image—important when law enforcement searches latent fingerprint databases. The Type 14 fingerprint record allows the much quicker capture of slap fingerprints only, which the FBI Ohio Pilot Test confirmed was just as accurate for verifying identify for criminal history background check purposes.

For more information on the digID™ LE system or other i3 products and services, call 540.953.1365.

(Media: hi-res images of digID LE device, screen captures of fingerprint examples, and related photography are available by calling AccessPr at 540-344-8499.)

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Terri Jones
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