Biometric standards gain more overseers

The International Committee for Information Technology Standards this week named four new task groups to rein in the proliferating methods and formats of biometric authentication.

Fernando Podio, chairman of the INCITS technical committee, said the work 'will support government and commercial applications.' Podio works in the Convergent Information Systems Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's IT Laboratory.

The four INCITS groups will work on:

  • Standardizing the reporting formats for finger, face, iris and signature products


  • Ironing out interfaces between biometric components and other subsystems


  • Drawing up application profiles for interoperability and data interchange


  • Testing performance metric definitions.


  • NIST last month released its own study of facial recognition products (Click here for GCN's recent coverage). It concluded that men are recognized with more accuracy than women and older people more so than younger ones. Although facial recognition has improved substantially in the last two years, NIST said, lighting changes affect accuracy.

    The standards agency also said last year that no single biometric method works well enough to be used alone, and that fingerprint methods need to become more accurate before they can be widely adopted (Click here for GCN coverage)

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