“The digital conversion of more than 30 million records—and as many as 83 million fingerprint cards—comes as the FBI fully activates its Next Generation Identification (NGI) system, a state-of-the-art digital platform of biometric and other types of identity information. The system, which is incrementally replacing the Bureau’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or IAFIS, will better serve our most prolific customers—law enforcement agencies checking criminal histories and fingerprints, veterans, government employees, and the FBI’s own Laboratory. The conversion from manual to digital systems began more than two decades ago, when paper files outgrew the space at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. They were shipped to West Virginia, where the FBI built a campus in Clarksburg in 1992 for its Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division and leased warehouse space in nearby Fairmont for the burgeoning files. In 2010, CJIS broke ground on a new Biometric Technology Center and redoubled its efforts to digitize all the files. The most recent push—digitization of 8.8 million files in two years—not only added more data points to the NGI program, but also eliminated the need to move scores of cabinets full of paper into the new technology center.”
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