Mobile Biometric Technologies (Montana Dept. of Justice)

Troy Carter filed this request with the Montana Department of Justice of Montana.

It is a clone of this request.

Est. Completion None
No Responsive Documents


From: Troy Carter

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Montana Public Records Act, Article II, § 9, I hereby request the following records:

Dear Custodian of Records/Public Records Coordinator,

I am collaborating with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a public interest group, and the media organization MuckRock, to survey how law enforcement agencies deploy mobile biometric technologies.

Mobile biometric technologies can be defined as any mobile device or mobile app used by law enforcement agencies to scan, capture, analyze, store, or automatically recognize any physical or biological characteristic of a subject. Commonly used mobile biometric technologies include fingerprint/thumbprint collection, facial recognition, scans of the iris or other elements of the human eye, Rapid DNA, and tattoo recognition. (Please see below for examples.)

Pursuant to Montana Public Records Law, I request the following records pertaining to mobile biometric technologies, including those listed above, as well as other biometric technologies I have not identified:

1) Purchasing and procurement documents, including but not limited to: purchase orders, RFPs, responses to RFPs, invoices and contracts

2) Policy, procedural, and training documents, including but not limited to: use policies, standard operating procedures, training materials, presentations, privacy assessments, data retention policies, and other guidelines

3) Programming documents, including but not limited to: funding opportunity announcements, grant applications and grantor status/progress reports, reports to legislative bodies, annual reports

4) Audit documents, including but not limited to: audits of the system, misuse reports, and reports to oversight bodies

In your response, I would appreciate that you individually address each of the above categories of documents individually.

In addition to the above classes of documents, I am also seeking the following information:

- The total number of individuals whose biometric data has been collected over the last three years,
- The total number of [biometric data points] contained in the agency’s database
- The retention period for biometric data
- The number of mobile biometrics devices purchased and in use
- The total number of authorized users of the mobile biometrics devices
- Which external agencies and entities have access to biometric data in the database and under what conditions,
- Whether biometric data is combined with biographic data such as name and address in the database, and
- The process by which data is entered into the database

These documents will be published online and inform the public dialog over police technology. Because of the great public interest in these issues, I ask that you waive any fees. If your agency is unable to do so, please contact me with an estimate of the costs.

Thank you.


Troy Carter, Reporter
Bozeman Daily Chronicle


Mobile facial recognition

Mobile fingerprint readers

Mobile iris scanners

Rapid DNA

Mobile Tattoo Recognition

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I would request your response within ten (10) business days.


Troy Carter, Reporter
Bozeman Daily Chronicle

From: Barnes, John


Thank you for your request. It’s currently in process. I don’t yet know if there will be a cost estimate. Since we handle records requests in the order they are received and there are several in line ahead of yours, I don’t yet have an estimated timeframe for fulfilling your request.


John Barnes
Director of Communications
Montana Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General

From: Barnes, John

Thank you for your inquiry. Your request is in process. I don’t yet have an estimated timeframe for completion.

From: Barnes, John


The Montana Department of Justice has not requested or obtained funding for, analyzed or developed specifications for, procured, purchased, or implemented any type or modality of mobile biometric technology. As a result, none of the requested documents or statistics are available to provide.

If the intended scope of your request includes other non-mobile biometric technologies, fulfilling the request will require a significant amount of staff time to obtain and provide the requested information. We estimate that it may take approximately 130 hours of staff time, which includes but is not limited to researching, gathering, and preparing materials for copying, custom IT programming for data extraction, and a legal review to determine if any of the responsive information is confidential under state law.

If you wish us to proceed with a cost estimate, please let me know. For your reference, the cost estimate will be calculated using the attached fee schedule from the Montana Department of Administration.

From: Troy Carter


This response is sufficient. Thank you and your colleagues at DOJ for responding promptly.


From: Barnes, John