In 2026 the Swiss Federal Council’s Automated Fingerprint Matching System (AFIS) is due to be replaced with the new system having reached the end of its 10 year operating life.

The new system will have advanced fingerprint identification capabilities and reintroduce facial recognition comparison technology which was abandoned because of high operational costs outweighing the advantages.

Holding a meeting on 5 April 2023, a modern remodelled system was approved by the Swiss Federal Council at a cost of 24.61 million francs.

An average of 340,000 identification requests are made to the Council per year by law enforcement and border control agencies it works closely with to tackle national and international crime and illegal migration, with advancing biometric technology producing accurate criminal profiles that can be held in databases for years.

The use of biometrics has been more routinely used in criminal investigations since 2013.