NIST gives nod to on-card biometric matching

Smart cards that perform on-card matching of biometric data without having to be swiped in a reader have the potential to greatly increase the convenience of secure identity authentication. Until now, such devices haven't been able to meet Federal Information Processing Standard 201 requirements for security and speed.

According to a just-released report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, however, that obstacle has now been overcome.

"Secure Biometric Match-on-Card Feasibility Report" (NIST IR 7452) concludes that 'it is possible to securely perform biometric match-on-card operations over the contactless interface of a smart card within 2.5 seconds.'

You can't rush out to buy product just yet, however, because the NIST report doesn't identify the manufacturers and products they tested. Indeed, some of the products tested were configured specifically for the tests and are not yet available commercially.

The products were all tested using both RSA 1024 and RSA 2048 encryption.

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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