NEC's app then uses public 3G and 4G mobile networks to check the Crimtrac National Police Reference database and the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System that contains records for more than three million people.
If the fingerprint is matched, the app displays relevant information including such as any bail conditions, outstanding warrants, current photo, address details and any behavioural characteristics such as "possibly violent tendencies."
SA Police cannot currently compel a person to provide fingerprints until they are under arrest. An NEC spokesperson said appropriate changes to the Summary Offences Act and the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Act 2007 are being progressed by the SA Government.
For security reasons, no data is stored on the phone. Requests are passed through a secure gateway developed by NEC that connects to the National Portable Biometric Identification API.
A successful trial of the system began late last year, and 150 SA Police units will be equipped with the technology.
"The rollout and operation at this point has been a complete success. It's helped the South Australia Police force identify a number of suspects with outstanding warrants, bail conditions and aided investigations into missing persons," said NEC Australia's director of communications solutions D'Wayne Mitchell.