LEAPS – Roundtables

LEAPS – Roundtables The roundtable portion of the program provided…

August 17, 2022

LEAPS – Roundtables

The roundtable portion of the program provided opportunities for robust discussion on topics of interest, led by government leaders and industry facilitators. Nick Holmes provided transition remarks and roundtable introductions on behalf of sponsor IBM.


Roundtable topic areas included:

  • Cybersecurity and Zero Trust – Securing remote workers and hybrid cloud environments, protecting data and users from ransomware threats, supply chain risks, credential theft
  • Use of Biometrics – Emerging trends, integration with mobile devices, multi-factor authentication, surveillance
  • Law Enforcement and Public Safety Use of Technology – Leveraging digital technology and innovation, data analytic tools, artificial intelligence, geospatial capabilities, and other emerging technology


Speaking to the topic of Biometrics, a group of former law enforcement employees attending LEAPS – including retirees from the FBI, DEA, and DHS – discussed the future of its application in law enforcement. Biometrics has been in use for more than a century. Now, advances in technology and the needs of police are driving development and refinement of new biometric tools, attendees said. The short list of techniques poised to become as ubiquitous as fingerprints includes facial recognition, iris scans, voice recognition, finger vein patterns, and gait pattern recognition, among others. Attendees shared that law enforcement is trying to identify “the next modality.”


Just as important, however, is the development of infrastructure (including cloud infrastructure) for efficiently gathering, storing, analyzing, and exchanging biometric data. In the past, inadequate infrastructure undermined the value of biometric data. Even now, some law enforcement officers can only exchange biodata via email.  What’s needed, attendees said, is a scalable solution. Biometrics “is not going away,” attendees said. “It’s going to get larger.”


Attendees discussing the Use of Technology, meanwhile, identified digital forensics and lawful access of technology in the course of investigations as issues of concern. There was a shared opinion that those working on the technology side don’t often view themselves as law enforcements partners, and so investigations stall while there are multiple devices available with critical data on them—data that they’re not permitted to access. Participants pondered how to move beyond that first, all-important hurdle when time is of the essence—how to avoid the common problem of finding themselves “data rich and information poor.”


Misunderstandings around emergent technologies were also discussed. “The way tech has evolved doesn’t lend itself to the traditional government budget cycle,” they agreed. Write-ups and cost-justifications must be provided ahead of time, but don’t necessarily account for inception and licensing costs. This has forced the government to rethink its business model, which has been a challenge to adapt to from both an industry and government standpoint.


Thought Leadership