Biometrics British Standards

Biometrics image

  Get the BSI Newsletters - quick sign-up here

What is Biometrics?

A Biometric System is a system for the automated recognition of individuals based on their behavioural and biological characteristics.

Fingerprints, face geometry, iris patterns and hand geometry are examples of biological characteristics, while dynamic signature recognition (the way in which a signature is written rather than the resulting graphic) is an example of a behavioural characteristic. In reality, most biometric characteristics comprise elements of both biology and behaviour.

Speaker recognition for example, depends on biological factors such as the shape of the vocal tract as well as behavioural influences such as the region of upbringing. Conversely, biological characteristics such as fingerprints are affected by behaviour when placing a finger onto a sensor.

Biological and behavioural characteristics of an individual are those that can be detected and from which distinguishing repeatable biometric features can be extracted for the purpose of automated recognition of individuals.

Biological and behavioural characteristics are physical properties of body parts, physiological and behavioural processes created by the body and combinations of any of these. Distinguishing does not necessarily imply individualization.

Wherever there is a need to identify or verify a human being there is a potential application for biometrics. This includes entry control to buildings and secure areas including countries, as well as logical access control to resources such as bank accounts and entitlement services.

Traditional methods to secure such applications include magnetic and smart cards, tokens as well as passwords and PINs. However, when it comes to identity assurance, biometric technologies have an unsurpassed advantage: they are intrinsically linked to the person.

How do biometric systems work?

Why use biometrics?

How are biometrics used?

Privacy issues and biometrics

As the number and scale of deployments of biometric recognition systems increase, biometrics is moving from an era where vendor-specific products, techniques and solutions were acceptable, into an era where interoperability is important and conformance to standards is required by most procurers of biometric products.

View BSI’s presentation about biometric standards, and get an overview of biometrics and identity management.  

View this and other BSI presentations including free guidance on standards on Slideshare.


Biometrics Standards & Publications

BSI’s publications and international standards are essential for those concerned with government contracts and procurement or with the enhancement of IT security through the identification of personnel and/or physical access control

Standards development is being undertaken in a number of groupings.  Each of these groupings includes a series of standards, where some parts in the series are already completed or soon to be published, and others are still ‘work in progress’. 

Interfaces: Standardization of interfaces and interactions between biometric
components and sub-systems, including security mechanisms, e.g.

Data Formats: Standardization of the content, meaning and representation of
biometric interchange formats, e.g.

Profiles: Standardization of biometric base standards to application profiles, e.g. 

Testing: Standardization of biometric performance metric definitions and
calculations; approaches to test performance and requirements for reporting, e.g.

Societal: Study and standardization of technical solutions to societal aspects of
biometric implementation, e.g.

Vocabulary: Standardization of vocabulary used for biometrics, e.g.

Below is the latest Biometrics research:

FaceSymbol Research Report

FaceSymbol

Report on the design, development and testing of 11 instructional symbols for use with automated, facial recognition systems
 

Here are some of the latest Biometrics standards:

PAS 92:2011 Code of practice for the implementation of a biometric systemPAS 92:2011
Code of practice for the implementation of a biometric system

Download an overview of PAS 92

 

BS ISO/IEC 29109-2:2010
Information technology. Conformance testing methodology for biometric data interchange formats defined in ISO/IEC 19794. Finger minutiae data
 
BS ISO/IEC 29109-4:2010
Information technology. Conformance testing methodology for biometric data interchange formats defined in ISO/IEC 19794. Finger image data
 
BS ISO/IEC 19784-1:2006 + Amendment 3:2010
Information technology. Biometric application programming interface. BioAPI specification
 
BS ISO/IEC 19785-2:2006 + Amendment 1:2010
Information technology. Common biometric exchange formats framework. Procedures for the operation of the biometric registration authority
 
BS ISO/IEC 19785-3:2007 + Amendment 1:2010
Information technology. Common biometric exchange formats framework. Patron format specifications
 
BS ISO/IEC 19785-4:2010
Information technology. Common Biometric Exchange Formats Framework. Security block format specifications
 
BS ISO/IEC 19794-2:2005 + Amendment 1:2010
Information technology. Biometric data interchange formats. Finger minutiae data
 
BS ISO/IEC 29159-1:2010
Information technology. Biometric calibration, augmentation and fusion data. Fusion information format
 
PD ISO/IEC TR 29794-5:2010
Information technology. Biometric sample quality. Face image data

BS ISO/IEC 19794-4:2005
Information technology. Biometric data interchange formats. Finger image data

BS ISO/IEC 19794-6:2005            
Information technology. Biometric data interchange formats. Iris image data

BS ISO/IEC 19795-2:2007           
Information technology. Biometric performance testing and reporting. Testing methodologies for technology and scenario evaluation

PD ISO/IEC TR 24714-1:2008      
Biometrics. Jurisdictional and societal considerations for commercial applications. General guidance

BS ISO/IEC 29141:2009              
Biometrics. Tenprint Capture Using BioAPI


Biometric passport 2.0 scrapped alongside ID cards, but will they take Identity out of IPS, or just change the name?

The BBC examines biometric technology

Sagem reveals new NFC-enabled Android phone

Biometrics featured at London expo

Warning over pupil fingerprinting - Teachers are warning that some schools are taking pupils' fingerprints without getting parents' permission


Visit the Biometrics news archive

Return to biometrics homepage


Biometrics Standards Development

Standards are important because technical standards support interchangeability and interoperability. Such standards reduce the risk for the procurer, system integrator and the end user, because they simplify integration and enable vendor substitution, technology enhancement and development.

BSI publications and international standards are essential for any government or commercial biometric project procurement.

ISO and IEC have a joint committee for information technology standards – JTC1. In 2002, ISO/IEC JTC1 established a subcommittee – SC37, to develop biometric standards. This subcommittee is composed of six working groups each addressing a specific area of work:

WG1 – Harmonized Biometric Vocabulary
WG2 – Biometrics Technical Interfaces
WG3 – Biometric Data Interchange Formats
WG4 – Biometric Profiles
WG5 – Biometric Performance Testing and Reporting
WG6 – Cross-Jurisdictional and Societal Aspects of Biometrics

The BSI IST/44 committee mirrors the structure and activities of SC37.

Find out the latest information about the IST/44 committee and its complete work programme – including both published standards and standards currently in development.



View BSI’s presentation about biometric standards, and get an overview of biometrics and identity management.  

View this and other BSI presentations including free guidance on standards on Slideshare.

These links are all external:

Have your say. Use the new BSI Draft Review system

You can now comment online on any new national Drafts for Public Comment (DPCs).

Go to http://drafts.bsigroup.com and register today!

Return to biometrics homepage
 Your basket
Your basket is empty

Brochure

Download the Biometrics brochure for more information on Biometrics standards


BSOL

Standards direct to your desktop


View BSI's standards in development


Books

Find ICT Books